For the past few months, we have been studying the book of James. Below, you can find the devotions we have covered thus far:
- Good Things Found (James 1:2-5)
- Endurance (James 1:2-5)
- Wavering Faith (James 1:6-8)
- Wrestling Doubt (James 1:6-8)
- Eternally Rich (James 1:9)
- Raised with Christ (James 1:9)
The Rich’s Own Mortality
While those in a humble position, can get excited in the truth that they are raised with Christ, the rich need to grow in humility. In James 1:9-11, we are taught that each man and women will one day die. No amount of money can spare one from suffering or death. Scripture reminds us that…
A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set (Job 14:5-7, NLV).
- In your life, what circumstances are you facing today?
- Does it feel like things are within your own control?
- How are you realizing God’s power upon your life?
- Who has set your life in motion?
- In Psalm 139:16, we are reminded that “every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (NLT).” Consider who has planned out your life, far better than you could.
- How are you come to terms with knowing your days are numbered?
- Celebrate the truth that He holds you in the palm of His hand. He is in control. “He holds all things together (see Colossians 1:17).”
Who is Really in Control?
When we have a certain status or amount of money, it can be easy to feel like we are somewhat in control of our lives or situations. The Word of God makes it clear that we are not in control. God is the One who has planned out our days. He knows what will happen tomorrow or next year. He knows if the rich will suddenly lose all of their money playing the Lotto. God knows. Not only does He know, He cares for each one of us. Because of the level of compassion God has for us, He has sent His only Son to redeem us.
I love the truth found in Romans 8:31-32 where we are reminded that God has withheld nothing from us – and we are called His children!
Don’t Lose Your Eternal Sight
The rich, in particular are called out in James 1. It can be easy to live in today’s world, and hold onto our money. When we have a certain status, we lose sight of the important things. We lose sight of eternity. In Colossians 3:1-2, we are reminded to keep our sights on God and focus on Kingdom things. For the rich, they are reminded here that they need to remain humble. Are you familiar with Jesus’ encounter with the rich man in the book of Luke? Let’s review, shall we?
Please head over to Bible Gateway, and read Luke 18:18-30 in your favorite Bible translation. Then, head back here – so we can discuss what we are learning about the riches of this world and the Kingdom of God!
- Who is Jesus talking with?
- What is the ruler’s question for Jesus?
- How does Jesus respond to him (see vv. 22)?
- Why do you think Jesus instructed him like he did?
- How can our possessions get in the way of walking in relationship with God?
- Spend some time thinking on Micah 6:8. What is to be our goal, as we seek after God?
- How can we trade in the things of this world (IE. Riches, possessions, friends, hobbies) for the things of God?
This man walked away saddened.
He wouldn’t give it up for Jesus.
His possession became more important than eternal life.
Back to James 1:10-11
We are taught that we should be glad that our riches mean nothing to the Lord.
But a rich man should be glad that his riches mean nothing to the Lord, for he will soon be gone, like a flower that has lost its beauty and fades away, withered—killed by the scorching summer sun. So it is with rich men. They will soon die and leave behind all their busy activities (James 1:10-11, TLB).
There is joy found in the Lord. I wish the rich man learned that. He didn’t have to walk away saddened at what Jesus instructed him to do. He wanted to “have it all,” but what he gained was nothing at all. Our possessions are nothing, in comparison to the riches of Christ!
In the Bible, we are reminded that all we truly need is Jesus.
We don’t need wealth.
We don’t need that dream job.
We don’t need that big house.
We only need Jesus, the Christ.
We only need our Savior of the world!
He is all we lack.
He is the One thing that is essential.
He is the non-negotiable!
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35, NLT).”
He is all we need.
This world will try to compete with the riches of Christ, but they can’t. The devil can attempt to tempt us with his schemes and shiny things, but they are nothing. We will save our talk on riches of Christ vs. things of this world for next week, as it relates to learning our position in Christ.
Until next time,