Friday, June 13, 2014

Posted by Niki |
James 1:9 “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
The brother of low degree is a poor man. James brings status into the situation because trials will come no matter how much money they have. During the time of James’ writings, ALL professing Christians were being persecuted. Money didn’t make a difference. We might think that having money will solve all of our problems but we never know how much debt people with money are in or how much their family is suffering due to the lack of their presence on a daily basis. Everyone is vulnerable to trials.

In that he is exalted: Although the man with little money might not have many earthly things to be glorious in, he can glorify knowing that God values him with great worth. Jeremiah 9:23-24 describes the emphasis on how little monetary status really means. We might not have much, but we are rich in Christ. James 2:5 confirms this. In James 1:4 he said that as long as we persevere and keep the faith, we will want for nothing. James gives us a challenge to see beyond our physical status and look beyond to our eternal lives. If we are living for Christ, we are richer than many others in this world. We have hope.

James 1:10 “But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.”
James mentions the rich because he gives them a warning. He reminds them not to measure their worth by possessions for security and joy because these won’t last. They need to heed God’s advice on wealth and money so they will use it humbly and productively for God’s kingdom. If you think about it, the rich are at a greater risk for going away from God because they have more money for drugs, alcohol, excessive spending, and fulfilling many other carnal desires due to the fund needed to have those things.

In his humiliation: Just because they were wealthy didn’t mean that they were exempt from religious persecutions. This was the one thing that leveled both rich and poor. It equals them. The words that James says means that the poor are low in this world, they are high in God’s eyes. While the rich are high in this world, they are brought low in God’s eyes, and both can teach one another. The rich should be humbled because:

They no longer need the riches of life for security
They have been accepted in the family of Christ
They have an identity with Christ in suffering (Philippians 3:10)
Their humility for the present will be rewarded in the future (Matthew 23:12)

James reminds us that no matter what our finances are, our only secure thing in life is our salvation. Don’t put your trust in earthly things or you will be highly disappointed. In the second part of the verse James begins quoting Isaiah 40:6-8. He finishes the quoting of the verses in James 1:11.

Verse 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.”

This verse is a continuation of the quoted verses in Isaiah 40:6-8. We don’t like to think about death. Wealth brings a false sense of security to people. This verse/phrase compares grass and flowers. In the desert, a rain shower will cause the grasses and flowers to sprout almost instantly, but as soon as the sun hits them, they wither and die. The feeling of comfort and security can be here one moment and gone the next.

The verse wraps up with saying that the rich man will fade away in his ways. Many times we are shocked at the death of a celebrity or well-known person. It shouldn’t make any difference to us what their social or economic status was. We are all guaranteed death at some point in our lives. That decision is up to God. James began his letter by making sure that believers, both poor and rich, see themselves in the same light before Christ. There is no difference. A soul is a soul; it’s lost or it’s saved. That is the only difference.


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