“The Test of Envy Through Relationships”

Date: 9-18-14

Text: James 1:9-11  The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. [NIV84]

The Big Idea: Our true Love being test with regard to material ‘stuff’.

My Thoughts: 

This may seem like a simplistic argument, but if we all had the same ‘stuff,’ we would never be tested with envy or jealousy or stealing…. Why do we need to be tested? To demonstrate true Love; a Love that springs from a heart that freely chooses to embrace, commit, sacrifice… for another. …

Lifestyle worshipers, maybe some of us have ‘burped,’ “It’s not fair. Why would God do such a thing?” This is a good question. Yet it appears He started this test pattern in the garden with the two trees. Oh, there were many more trees in the garden, but He pointed out two, and He gave expressed instructions not to eat from one of the designated two: “Don’t eat the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.” (Don’t you find it interesting that He did not command Adam or Eve, “You must eat from the tree of Life”?)

Just like Adam and Eve’s true Love for the LORD was being tested through obedience, so is our true Love being test with regard to material ‘stuff’. This test reveals whether or not the “Have’s” will look on the “Have not’s” with distain, etc., and the “Have Not’s” will envy (stealing in their hearts) what the “Haves” have. What are your thoughts on this? Do you see a Christ-like response to the disparity between the rich and the poor? Do you see this as a test at all?

Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

— Luke 16:10-12 (NIV84)

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

— Revelations 3:17:18 (NIV84)

 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

— 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV84)

Heavenly Father, empower me by Your Holy Spirit so that I may have a response to the disparity between the rich and the poor that will honor Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  In His Name Amen.

Pastor Mike