What is Valuable to You? James 4:7-5:6
Among Christians there is a vast array of priorities and differences of opinion on the value of things, events, property and even people.
IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD AS VALUABLE TO YOU AS IT OUGHT TO BE?
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
What is the value of that persons relationship with the Lord?
In vs 7 we are taught to submit ourselves to God. As we do this we can resist the devil thus drawing us away from worldly things and towards Godliness.
In vs 8 we are told to come near to God and purify our hearts. We are told to rid ourselves of that which is secular, worldly and that which causes our thoughts to be less than holy.
Vs 9 tells us to check our attitudes. If we are finding ourselves in step with the world, then we need to change. We need to repent and tighten up.
Vs 10 tells us that as we do these things in acts of humility the Lord will richly bless us. By following the directions of vs 6-9 we get the blessing of vs 10.
TWO: ARE PEOPLE AS VALUABLE TO YOU AS THEY SHOULD BE?
11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?
It is a safe bet that the Lord takes how we deal with others very seriously.
Loving the Lord is one thing and loving people is another.
Time and time again the Lord brings us back to the whole love your neighbor thing.
Who are you to judge your neighbor? This speaks not of making sound judgments but of being critical and demeaning.
That person you discard is still a person Christ loves and gave himself to save. Are people as valuable to you as they ought to be?
IS DOING THE WILL OF THE LORD AS VALUABLE TO YOU AS IT CAN BE?
13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
These vs remind us of the people who plan then pray rather than pray then plan. James is bold. He says that planning without the Lord is evil. He also says that our lives do not amount to much.
We are to seek the will of the Lord first and in all things. We are not to seek our will and ask a prayer of approval then call it the will of God.
ARE YOUR PRIORITIES WHERE THEY NEED TO BE?
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.
2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
When it comes right down to it, what we do for eternity is all that matters in eternity.
John Wesley the founding father of Methodism said to earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can.
We cannot hold too tightly to those things that will not last.
I would rather arrive in heaven knowing I invested in the spiritual lives of the next generation than to know I left 100K in the bank.
HAVE YOU BLESSED PEOPLE THE WAY THEY NEED TO BE?
4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
If we have the time and the ability to bless ourselves we have the time and ability to bless others.
No one was, is, or will be greater, yet Jesus himself clearly stated that he came to serve not to be served.
We all have opportunities to serve others.
Treating people as Christ would treat them is a goal that all of us need to strive for.
What is valuable to you?