James Week 3 | Warnings to the Wealthy | James 1:9-11; 2:15-16; 5:1-6 | May 7, 2017

Warm Up: James continues to challenge us to put action to our faith. Our faith should not only be evident in what we say, but also what actions we take. He doesn’t pull punches in that challenge, even in the most sensitive of areas, like wealth. Our culture puts a lot of value on wealth, money, and the accumulation of it. In your life, what was, or is, your current view of wealth? Share how your upbringing or experiences have shaped the way you view and use material resources. 

  • The Bible says many things about wealth. In fact, Jesus spent a lot of time addressing, and teaching about wealth (15% of Christ’s recorded words deal with money!)
  • Consider the following verses: “Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.” Proverbs 11:28. “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10. How have you seen these verses prove themselves in real life?
  • Is falling into “the love of money” easy for us? Share your own struggle.
  • Read James 5:1-5. What things were the wealthy people doing to acquire the wealth they had come to possess? How have you seen these kinds of actions play out in our culture, either personally or in the world around you?
  • Read James 2:15-16. James challenges us to do something different with our wealth. As Christians, we are to use our wealth as a tool to be invested into God’s Kingdom purposes. Our wealth is not meant to be stockpiled, rather, to be spread out and used for the glory of God and the good of others. 
  • What are some ways you have seen admirable generosity modeled in the lives of people you respect? 
  • Pastor George used the analogy of “open-handedness” or “close fisted” as symbols for how we manage our material resources. Which mentality do you connect with most? What contributed to this? What is the Lord prompting you to do to become more “open handed” with your wealth?

Wrap Up: Read Luke 12:15-21. Because earthly riches have no eternal value, we must resist the temptation to trust in them for our ultimate security, satisfaction, or salvation. Jesus says that it’s a foolish person who stores up wealth on earth when that wealth is destined for destruction. A wise person finds riches in the relationship they have with God! Pray for renewed hearts of stewardship this week, that God would inspire you toward His vision for the material resources he has entrusted to you.