“The Very Wealth You Were Counting On…”

3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. ​– James 5:3 NLT

God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it.  Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

11 of 39 parables talk about money.

1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com

James 5:1-6 NLT

Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” .  This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.–Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)

Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it.  Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.​​

Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“We Will Live And Do This or That…”

15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15 NLT

James 4:3- 17 NLT

Although none of us are promised tomorrow, it is still a good idea to have a plan. God has set that example for us. He had a plan for all His children collectively, before He laid the foundations of the earth.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.–Matt. 25:34 (NLT)

He also has plans for each of His children individually.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope–Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT).

So, it is not wrong to have plans. They are only a problem and a boast when we plan without asking God about it. Or if we think that we can accomplish anything good without God. We are only here on this earth for a very small portion of time and then we are gone. So, we need to spend our lives “redeeming the time”, in other words, making good use of it to further the work of the Kingdom of God. This was His plan when He created the world and us.

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Eph. 2:10 (NLT)

So, we see that God planned us, formed us, and then created us anew to do His good works for His glory. If we plan anything less, it does not honor our Creator and if we plan anything greater, it is presumptuous and sinful. When we know to do good and refuse to do it, it is a sin against God and our fellowman.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Come Close To God,…”

8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.– James 4:8-10 NLT

James 4:7-10 NLT

We need to make up our minds — are we for the Lord or are we for the world? How long will we waver between two opinions? This was the recurring problem that the children of Israel had.

21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow h​​im!” But the people were completely silent.–1 Kings 18:21 (NLT)

Since we know that God is God, we need to allow Him to be Lord of every part of our life. He will accept nothing less. We need to repent of our sins and God will restore us. God does not wink at sin and He doesn’t have a list that ranges from “little” sin to the “biggest” sin. He puts liars in the same category with thieves and murderers. We need to allow Him to “create in us a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within us”. Unconfessed sin in our lives breaks our relationship with God. We are still saved but until we repent, God is unable to bless us the way He longs to. We need to humble ourselves before Him and allow Him to cleanse us and revive us again.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.–1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Stand Up to the Devil…”

7 So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you. – James 4:7 TPT

James 4:4-7 TPT

The Greek word (moi-kho’s) that is translated as adulterers has more than just a sexual connotation. It is anyone committing an act of infidelity or unfaithfulness to God. These actions are what depict us as “friends” of the world. If we live a lifestyle that is filled with these kinds of actions, then we show by our actions that we are “enemies” of God. Our flesh is constantly warring against the Spirit that God has placed inside us. We need to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit not by our fleshly desires.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil​l​ the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.–Gal. 5:16-17 (KJV)

We cannot win the war by ourselves, the flesh is too strong. But God gives us grace and mercy. He is made strong in our weaknesses. If we are faithful to walk “in the Spirit”, God will fight and win every battle for us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“You Don’t Get It…”

3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT

James 4:1-3 NLT

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assumed God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
​.
4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reasons, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted it– relax, God is still in control.

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“But the Wisdom From Above…”

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. — James 3:17 NLT

James 3:13-17 NLT

Earthly wisdom is the wisdom that leads to quarrels and chaos. It is based on our egos and leads us into all kinds of evil trying to satisfy our fleshly lusts. It leads us to make statements that are boastful and not approved by the Holy Spirit. Earthly wisdom says “me first”. Earthly wisdom is foolishness to God.19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.

” 20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.–1 Cor. 1:19-20 (NLT) 

God has given us access to His wisdom. It is there just for the asking. This is the wisdom that is pure, peace-loving, gentle and full of mercy. Godly wisdom leads us to put Jesus first, others second and ourselves last. We are blessed because we become peacemakers and we will reap a harvest of righteousness.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Out of the Same Mouth…”

10 Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sisters, this should never be! – James 3:10 TPT


James 3:7-12 TPT

We must always be careful with our words. Somehow, we have gotten into the bad habit of thinking that every word said to us needs a quick reply. It is those knee-jerk responses that get us into trouble most times. We need to take the time to consider what we have just heard and weigh its meaning. What is the situation? What is the tone of voice? Did we hear correctly? In our “busy” lifestyle nowadays, we have to have a lot more patience and consider the other person’s perspective.​  Our words should always be uplifting and encouraging. Our lips should bless and not curse. The words we say should always be a “sweet, sweet sound” in the ears of God, then we know they will be pleasing to others. God listens and hears every word we say. Let our words be sweet cool water to a tortured soul. Then people will know what we have in our hearts.

For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.–Matt 12:34b (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“The Tongue Is A Flame of Fire,…”

6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  ​  – James 3:6 ​NLT

James 3:2-6 NLT

We all know the old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Or as I learned in my childhood “words don’t bother me”.  Either way, it is wrong. With our tongues, we can speak words of life or words of death. Death might be a relationship or a lost opportunity. We can speak words of peace or words that stir up anger. We should always consider our thoughts carefully because those thoughts turn into words that can buildup, tear down or completely destroy. We can think of our thoughts as a text message we are about to send, once we hit the send button, there is no way to recall the message regardless of how much we regret the words. Our words can truly fan a small spark into a raging wildfire causing damages that may not be repaired. Regardless of how we feel about any  situation, it is our duty to speak words of peace and restoration. 

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. ​ – Matt. 5:9 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“What Good Does That Do?”

16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?– James 2:16 NLT

James 2:14-17 NLT

We know that we are saved “by grace through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast”. We also know that everything we receive while we are here on earth is a free gift from God. So, what is the purpose of “good works” and why are they important? Well, there are at least two good reasons and probably more if you want to break them down. The first is this; now, that we are Christians, Jesus is our example and He went about doing good works.

38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.–Acts 10:38 (NLT)

The second reason is this; doing good works here on earth is how we store our rewards or treasures in heaven.

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.–Matt 6:20-21 (NLT)

If we do good works for these two reasons, it will keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus and our final reward of living an eternity with Him. If we focus on that, it will make the burdens lighter and we can walk the path with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts and a song of praise on our lips!

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“All of the Laws Except One…”

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. — James 2:10 NLT

James 2:10-13 NLT

The law(s) were given to the children of Israel to show them that sin was in the world. Without the law there would have been no disobedience of the law and therefore they would not have understood sin. With the law, they understood sin and also understood that no human being could live up to the perfect standard required by the law. The law was their/our teacher to show them/us that we all need a Savior. This was no surprise to God. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had prepared a perfect Lamb to be our Savior. Because God is merciful, He sent His only Son into the world as the only perfect human. Jesus came to us knowing that He would be sacrificed for our sins, although He was sinless. Now we live under grace, the unmerited favor of God. We did nothing and can do nothing to earn grace and salvation. It is a free gift from God.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.–Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

We should sing praises to God daily. He is a marvelous, amazing God. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord”!!!!!!!

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous