05/17/15 Rejoice in Your Status of Life!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, May 18, 2015 Under: Sermon
Life is a Test Series – James 1:9-12

Intro: My status has changed several times in my life: I was a painter for several years, you might say it help me through many financial endeavors throughout the years. But with that job position and the dress code, it was interesting the looks I would get and even the assumption about what or who I was. I worked for CP&L for years and I traveled 4 & 5 days a week, I was an electrician and it was interesting the looks I got and even the assumption about what or who I was. I have been a preacher for several years…

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Text: James 1:9-12 (NKJV)

“Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. 12Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

Application: Rejoice in ones’ status the reward is out of this world!

1. Rejoice: in one’s status. Vs. 9-11.

The Poor - Christ exalts.

The believer of lowly status is to rejoice in the Lord. This does not mean that he is to rejoice because he is poor, unhealthy, or crippled. It means that he rejoices in Christ despite the circumstances—no matter how terrible. Christ loves the lowly person. Christ has saved the lowly and has promised to exalt him as a king and prince throughout all eternity. Therefore, the believer of lowly status is to have a spirit that is as strong as the spirit of a king and prince. He is to have the strongest of spirits now, while he is on earth despite his circumstances of poverty or ill health. Jesus Christ has exalted him to rule throughout all eternity in the new heavens and earth. Therefore, the believer of lowly status on this earth is to behave like a prince and a king—all as a testimony to Christ and His power to change lives.

Too often the poor and unhealthy allow their circumstances to dull, numb, or destroy their spirit and joy in life. They become bitter because of their position in life. Even with the position and the obvious trials that will come, one should not allow this struggle to stop them from improving their status in life. Rejoicing in one's status in life—facing it squarely in the face and setting out to conquer it—is one of the ways to conquer the trials and temptations of life. A lowly person who does not allow his status to defeat him, but rather who conquers his status develops a strong, strong spirit. He develops such a strong spirit that with the wisdom of God He can conquer any trial or temptation thrown against him.

The believer who is deprived in this life can accept that temporary and insignificant deprivation because he has a future divine inheritance that is both eternal and secure.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.” 1 Peter 1:3-6

The Rich - Christ humbles.

  • A danger: False security, (Like the flower).
  • The body of the rich ages & dies.
  • The pursuits of the rich fade away.

A rich or high person is not accepted by God because of who he is or what he has. His rich and high status means absolutely nothing to God. Even if he were the ruler and owner of the whole earth, it would mean nothing to God. What is such status or wealth in comparison to the whole universe? The rich and high have to approach God bare—as nothing and as having nothing—approach Him as a little child, poor and without anything. This is the only way God accepts any person; the rich and high are no better off than the poor and lowly. All men—no matter their status in life—stand before God as equals. Let the rich and high rejoice in God and in the fact that God accepts him, not in his rich and high status.

The rich and high are to give and live just as sacrificially in meeting the needs of the lost and needy of the world as the middle and lower classes of society. When a person, especially a believer, meets his needs, that is all he is to do. He is not to hoard and bank beyond securing his family. He is to use all to meet the needs of this world—its desperate need for the gospel and for food, water, medicine, education, clothing, and housing.

James then presents the other side of the principle. Just as a materially poor believer should rejoice in his spiritual riches, the materially rich man [should] glory in his humiliation.

"All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away. 1 Peter 1:24

2. Remember: the reward for enduring – A crown of life in one’s status. Vs. 12

The man who perseveres under trial is the man who never relinquishes his confident trust in God. He is a true believer, who perseveres and becomes the man who has been approved (by passing the test with faith intact). The principle is simple, clear, and marvelously gracious: perseverance brings God’s approval, and His approval brings the crown of life. Remember the reward for enduring. He shall be blessed and shall receive a crown of life. The person who endures temptation shall be "blessed”. This refers to this life, to the here and now. The word blessed means inward and spiritual joy and satisfaction; an inner assurance and confidence that carries one through all the trials and temptations of life no matter the pain, sorrow, loss, or grief. Simply stated, the person is secure in this life. He knows that God is looking after and caring for him and is going to deliver him from all the corruption and evil of this life including death, and give him life eternal. The believer who endures the temptations of life shall be crowned with life itself, eternal life—life that will go on and on, never ending. The eternal life that will be given the believer will shine more brightly than all the earthly crowns that have ever been worn by the rulers of this world.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

When you lose a daughter, son, wife, husband, or other loved one, wealth is no comfort. When you lose your health, are betrayed by a friend, or are wrongfully maligned, money cannot buy peace of mind or decrease the pain. Trials are the great equalizer, bringing all of God’s children to dependence on Him. Wealth does not bring God closer, nor does poverty keep Him further away. In light of that truth and the present text, the beautiful, well-known passage from Hebrews could be modified:

“Therefore let us draw near with [equal] confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may [equally] receive mercy and [equally] find grace to help in time of need” “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Conclusion: An unexpected circumstance only controls you if you allow it to! "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.’ John 14:1-2

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

The person who loves the Lord is the person who endures. He is the person who is faithful to the Lord. He follows and obeys the Lord, doing all that the Lord commands. He follows Christ, obeying His commandments and enduring all the trials and temptations of this life. A genuine Christian is not someone who at one point in time made a profession of faith in Christ, but he is a person who demonstrates true faith by an ongoing love for God that cannot be damaged, much less destroyed, by troubles and afflictions, no matter how severe or long-lasting. Like obedience to God’s will, love of Him is certain evidence of true faith.

REJOICE IN THE STATUS OF YOUR LIFE!

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