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In this time, we now live in. A time that is shown to be of the last letter to the churches that the Glorified Jesus Christ dictated to John. (Revelation 3:14-22) For what would become the book of Revelation. We are shown that most in the church would be lukewarm. Singing and praising God and His Son Jesus Christ. Yet, living more for the world and its luxuries and pleasures than really and truly honoring God. We need to look at the letter that James wrote, for within are lessons for those that call themselves “Christian” in today’s religious environment.
James 1:2-11 – Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. 9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. 11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.
In these verses is a key element that needs to be given its due merit. So, I will restate these verses in the KJV:
James 1:5-8 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Many do not understand why God does not answer their prayers. This is why. They ask for things of the world and not of those things which God requires from us all. Loyalty to Him and to Him alone. So when asking for wisdom. It should be asking for true wisdom, which grants us insight to His teachings.
Wisdom – insight, skill (human or divine), intelligence.
When asking for wisdom from God. He will give it to those that ask in a great amount and without reprimand. There is a caveat though. When the person asks for this wisdom it must be in full dedication to God Himself and not influenced or tainted by worldly wants or lusts.
Colossians 3:1-6 – Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. 5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.
We cannot receive this wisdom if you seek after any of those sins shown in the third chapter of Colossians in the fifth verse.
Returning to James we see one of these sins listed once again, but in a different aspect:
James 1:9-11 – Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Greed and having riches can be said to be one and the same. For having riches can be distracting for those that have wealth. It will make them look to the world and thus be distracted from who they should truly be focused upon: God. It is made clear in James that those with money should feel humility for God actually see them as less than those that are poor.
Most that profess to “Christian” in today’s world though seem to be or seek after riches. Why do they seek to be seen as less in God’s eyes than those that are poor? Yet that is how many do act and behave that call themselves “Christian.”
This in essence verifies that those that profess to be “Christian” are ignoring the teachings of the Bible and would rather gather worldly treasures rather than heavenly ones.
Revelation 3:17-19 – You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
Let us take a better look at verse nineteen in the KJV on what many in today’s world need to do:
Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
The Glorified Christ states clearly that those that seek riches should reject it and turn whole heartedly toward God. To repent of their sin of not seeking for treasures in His house instead of their own.
Will these words be heard?
I have no answer. That is not for me say. That is for those that finally acknowledge they are truly lukewarm, and that they, in Christ eyes, are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. All due to seeking after wealth, leisure and comforts here on this earth.
James 1:12-18 – God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. 16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.”
When someone sins. It is their own doing for their own wants and desires.
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.”
When someone worships the world they break the commandments given to Moses:
Exodus 20:3-4 – Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
A house that is bigger than what you need to shelter from the elements is a graven image. A car that costs as much as a small house is a graven image.
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
This is a very clear statement. Yet millions ignore it in today’s Church. Millions that call themselves “Christian” seeking after wealth, possessions. They have cravings for everything they see like expensive cars, clothing. They are actually taught to seek after pride in their achievements. All the while being told they are a good Christian. When as this verse makes clear that is the opposite of the truth.
Matthew 6:19-34 – “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
If someone sees themselves truly as “Christian” then they must do as Christ said. I will end this message with the word of Jesus Christ once again:
Luke 14:25-33 – A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.