Message Series // Scattered – Part 3 Wise With Wealth
Message Date // September 27, 2020 (Scotty Priest)
During this season of life in 2020, most of us can use the word “scattered” to describe how we feel. Schedules have been scattered, along with finances, jobs, emotions, living situations, and more. We can feel disorganized, alone, and messy. As we lean into this time of looking through the biblical letter of James, we will know that we aren’t alone in feeling scattered. James, the half-brother of Jesus and pastor of the Jerusalem church in this time, is writing to all the Christians that have been scattered out from Jerusalem because of persecution. He writes with a heart to remind them, in the midst of all the unknowns, to live out their faith in a real and practical way. These same words, written almost 2,000 years ago, can also help ground us today as we seek to live out the ways of Jesus in the midst of feeling scattered.
”Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.” – James 1:9
James continues in his letter to the Christians “scattered”, and he begins to speak about being wise with our wealth. When we are scattered and in the midst of uncertainty, our faith can really be tested. We are witnessing millions of people who are now out of work and it can create a fear in all of us. Our money and our positions always impacts the way we live and if we are not careful, we can easily allow our net worth define who we are and how we respond. James reminds us that our net worth should not equal our self worth. Ultimately he reminds us that putting our trust in our wealth instead of God is not wise because soon enough our wealth can pass away. When our life on earth is over, it’s important to realize that both the rich and the poor stand equally before God and we will find that our stewardship of what we do have is what matters most.
A little bit later James addresses some potential key issues in our life like hoarding, cheating and living extravagantly. Read James 5:2-5 What are some things that you can purge from your closet, pantry, storage areas and even your home? Why can that be so challenging? In regards to the financial arena, what are some ways that people cheat others? Can you give some examples, from your own life, of where you are living extravagantly.
Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Timothy also teaches us not to put our hope in our wealth because it is so uncertain and that we need to put our hope in God. He highlights the fact that God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. What are some of the ways that God has blessed you and provided for you and your enjoyment. Why is it so hard to place our money under the Lord’s leadership. What are some of the fears you are facing in regards to your finances? What are some ways where you can be a little more generous?