Who are we?
- Put your identity in the eternal things.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. James brings the reality of the real life in the world not in the movie. The lowly and rich people. In the reality there will be poor and rich people. There will be poor in the world, in the church. James calls you to boast in the exaltation of Jesus. And for rich to boast in the humiliation of Jesus. In this life we will have comfortable life and uncomfortable. He give the illustration like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. This life will pass away. In Christ there is no special status for a poor person or a rich person. The status of every person in Christ is being a child of God. Apart from being a child of God do not trust you earth identity because it will not pass to heaven. Psalm 102:11-12, Isaiah 40:6-8. James warns the believers not to find their identity in the things which will pass away. The word of God will remain and it eternal. It will not change. Be identified by the word of God.
- God blesses a Christian who perseveres
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (The difference between tested and tempted. The tested - trials. In testing you will grow in faith and recognize the power of God. In Hebrews 11:17. And in being tempted. It is the bite Satan uses to pull you to his side. The goal of Satan is to tempter you so that you sin against God. And fail to repent so that sin becomes part of your lifestyle. God test and Satan tempts. Some word but with different results. Christians are warned against Satan Matthew 4:3, and 1 Thess 3:5. In temptation you start doubting God). However someone who stand the trails, there is a promise. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial. (Sickness, jobless, cultural pressures). When you wake up on the FMs in Uganda, you hear one thing join us to be blessed. Since James is calling to endure on the things which are eternal. You can find your blessing. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trails. God tests but the moment you endure the trails, you are blessed. God gives us the test or temptation which are which you can handle and lead you to worship him 1 Corinth 10:13. When he tests you does not lead you to do evil to purify your faith. The great example is Job, and Jesus. Another one is Abraham. God tested Abraham about Isaac. In this test. God provided the Lamb. Because of our nature, were totally depraved. We still have the sinful nature. The temptation comes. The agent of temptations are Satan, the fallen nature, in temptation there is persuasion of fulfilling our happiness. The different is that the test from God enables you to grow in faith as Peter puts it in 1 Peter 1:6-7 while the temptation leads you to sin. As look at enduring, it means you should learn to persevere because you are chosen and sealed by the Holy Spirit that you belong to God not this world. In your endurance of the hard situation in life, the doctrine of perseverance becomes practical for those who belong to Christ. They will persevere and the Word of God will remind them the promise they have in God. When you look at the promise the you will be glorified, they word reminds to endure because you belong to him. Roman 8:29-30. Through the trials. Hold on the truth. The Word of God.
- God gives gifts to his children
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Christians do not be deceived. Christian life will have trails and every person will face them depending on what he is dealing with in life. With that in mind. It is important to know that Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. Some people when they meet women in the morning in their mind even Christians want to go back home. Why? Because the culture teaches that first person you meet in the morning if is a woman then you will have a bad day. God is always good and every good gift comes from Him. Do not look at the person you have meet in the morning that will unlock the blessing of your day. Our God is not like other gods that he changes. With whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Our God will be with us in the difficulties and joys. He will never change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. He saved us by his will so that we can be the firstfruits of his creature. The qualification to become the firstfruit is through trusting in Jesus since is the Firstfruit. He was the first to resurrected from the dead. Colossians 1:15-20. Since you believe in Jesus. This means you believe in his life, suffering, death, and resurrection. With that, you became firstfruits of his creatures. What was the significance of the firstfruits? Live 23:10-11. What is the significance now? 1 Corinth 15:22-23. You are beautiful in the eyes of God and accepted. When the people of Israel took the firstfruits to God it was an announcement that everything belong to Him. By faith they believed that God will provide more and there will be a plenty of harvest. Jesus become the firstfruit from the resurrection, it is an announcement that there will be a great number of resurrection. As God saves you through Jesus, and now you take the status of the firstfruit. It is an announcement that there will great number of people who will get saved. This is a reminder of knowing who we have become because of Jesus. It is privilege for us to share the gospel. And believing in gospel is not in vain but a blessing.