1. We began by confronting the challenge of this passage.
A: James is addressing those who mishandle God’s wealth. How does viewing all wealth as belonging to God change how a person manages the wealth they are given?
B: We were asked to consider this question: “Am I using God’s wealth in a manner that’s in alignment with the world or with God?” What do you base your answer on?
C: What are ways that you can use wealth to simply please yourself? What are ways you can use wealth to please God?
2. We then looked at 4 ways that God intends for wealth to be used: to provide for our families, to bring sinners to salvation, to care for those in need, & to support those who preach God’s Word.
A: Which of these ways of using wealth is most challenging for you to recognize as valuable or needed?
B: What is an example from your life where you’ve used wealth in one of these ways & it has brought joy to you?
3. Next we looked at v.1-6 & the difficult words James has for his audience.
A: In v. 1, it begins with, “Come now, you rich…” and again we heard that most everyone of us at MBC would be considered rich. What changes when you begin to view yourself as one who needs to heed these words?
B: In v. 2-3, James addresses the one who hoards God’s wealth. Why is it so tempting to hoard wealth rather than use wealth appropriately?
C: In v. 4, we read that, “the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” How does knowing that God is not aloof, distant, or uninvolved serve as motivation to act righteously?
D: In v. 5, James addresses those who not only hold back wealth, but needlessly spend their wealth. READ ECCLESIASTES 2:4-11. How have you seen this temptation in your own life: the temptation to try to find satisfaction in gaining more for yourself/spending more on yourself?
E: In v. 6, we get a sense of superiority from those in possession of wealth over against those who are poor. We heard on Sunday that, “the poor matter to God, therefore they ought to matter to us.” What are practical ways we can show care & compassion rather than disdain or condemnation towards the poor?
F: We ended by seeing how generosity is connected to the gospel. How does the gospel message inform our view of generosity?