This week we are covering James chapter 5 summary and Bible Study questions. Just like last week we read about the the issue of money, greed, and abundance.
James Chapter Five addresses the issue of the rich leaning on their wealth and trusting in material items. This week we will talk about how the spirit of entitlement influences our actions in this area of our lives.
This is the final week of the James Bible Study. Before you get started with the study, be sure to read James Chapter 5.
James Chapter 5 Summary
Read James Chapter Five
There is always something that we find ourselves leaning on in this world, and in James Chapter Five, he addresses the issue of the rich leaning on their wealth and trusting in material items more than trusting in God. In fact, the issue here is more about greed than it is about having money or material items. Greed really is a heart issue, and it’s easy to be consumed with finding purpose, comfort, and security within the items we acquire in this life. Another danger of greed is the sense of entitlement. Entitlement can really affect how we treat other people.
Unfortunately, entitlement can cause us to place ourselves, and our ambition in life, above others who might have a need that needs to be addressed. That’s not to say we don’t need to take care of ourselves; we need to be filled before we can pour out anything else to anyone else. When we lean more into the Holy Spirit, that’s when we find that we are overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit. The love of Christ is the living water that causes us never to go thirsty again!
In James 5:5 it says:
You have indulged yourselves with every luxury and pleasure this world offers, but you’re only stuffing your heart full for a day of slaughter.TPT
This scripture is a truth that hits my heart with a big impact. In 2018 I took a writing break. I had been writing Bible Studies and blogging for well over 14 years. I started my first website with a heart full of dreams and ambitions in January of 2005. So in 2018, I needed to take a break so I could rest and find some direction from God on what the next season held. One truth God spoke to my heart during that moment was that I was just trying to keep the gifts God had given me to myself. There was an unsettling feeling within my heart that made me realize that whatever was given to me was not meant to be “stuffed into my heart.”
Jesus never called us to hide the gift He had given us.
The truth is, if we have abundance, then there needs to be an overflow, not stuffing it all into our hearts or a home for only us to enjoy. There is only so much pleasure and purpose that can be found in living a life seeking indulgence and gratification; in the end, it will lead to a life that is empty.
As we read further in the book of James, we see that he gives us a clue as to what needs to be done with our abundance; James 5:7 states:
Think about the farmer who has to patiently wait for the earth’s harvest as it ripens because of the early and latter rains.TPT
This verse points to the benefit of using our abundance to plant seeds in order to see a harvest! This can be done through so many areas other than money. Greed can happen in other areas of our lives rather than in money. We can get greedy with just about anything we value; we can also find ourselves with an overflow of abundance that we can use in order to plant seeds for God’s Kingdom.
As the scripture continues, we can see that living out of the overflow will require endurance and faith. Once again, James addresses the need to be supportive of those we are serving alongside instead of being a discouragement to them.
James Chapter 5 also addresses prayer and the benefits we can gain by simply taking our requests to God. There is a lot in this passage about prayer. One question I think we all need to ponder is, are we to pray, encourage, or sing praises? This scripture shows us that there is a benefit and a purpose for it all.
We can pray for healing over the sick; however, I am not sure this is something we practice very often. When we are having a moment where we are filled with JOY, we are encouraged to sing praises! Glorifying God and how He has drawn you out of darkness will actually help those who are discouraged in life. Your praises will strengthen your faith and the faith of those around you.
Can we just pause for a moment and look at James 5:15:
And the prayer of faith will heal the sick and the Lord will raise them up, and if they have committed sins they will be forgivenTPT
Prayer is a powerful force in our life. I have also found that greed, forgiveness, and pride are usually what is holding us back from fully immersing ourselves in the power of prayer. I love that the book of James ends by addressing the power of prayer. When we look at this study as a whole, we can see that not only has this book helped to build our faith, but it has also helped to remove any roadblocks that might present themselves on our way to living out our faith. Finally, our destination is simple; draw closer to God through prayer, praise, and worship. All of which are difficult to maintain with a heart full of pride, greed, and unforgiveness.
Have you noticed this thread in the book of James before? I know I haven’t, and I have read it several times because it is my favorite book in the Bible. I hope you enjoyed this study!
Holy Spirit, help us to see where our hearts might be clinging to greed. Open our eyes to what is holding us back from building our faith. Show us the fears that hinder us. Holy Spirit, I ask you to give us the wisdom on what to pray to build our faith, not our fears. Help us to have thoughts and prayers that feed our faith so that it will grow and there will be a harvest. Thank you, Jesus, that all of this is a possibility through your sacrifice on the cross! – Amen
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