“Follow Me” – Youth Retreat 2018
All students who are finishing grades 7-12 are welcome on this weekend trip to Christina Lake Lodge in Conklin, where they will enjoy campfires, hiking, games and activities, and time to relax in the cabins and by the water. We’ll also be taking advantage of the refreshing nature of nature…spending time with God as we study the bible, pray, and sing together. Our focus this year will be on how each person is invited by Jesus to follow and serve him on the most incredible journey of faith.
LIMITED SPACE, REGISTER NOW!
To register, complete and submit the following forms:
- Event Permission Form – Youth Retreat 2018
- *Authorization and Consent Form*
- *Contact and Medical Information Form*
**These forms are required at the beginning of each academic year for general involvement in NorthLife Youth programming. If you have already submitted them for your student/s, then you only need to submit the Event Permission Form.**
Session Ten: James 5:1-6
Big Idea: God will judge those who pursue wealth sinfully.
Key Verse: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.” James 5:1
What’s the largest amount of cash you’ve ever held? How did it make you feel? These are just a couple questions to ask ourselves before reading the first few verses of James 5. Upon first glance, it may seem as though James is making a statement about all rich people: “Being rich is sinful.” But a closer look reveals that God is more concerned about what we do with material wealth. You and I must choose whether we will live for ourselves or for God, whether we have millions of dollars or not.
How does God want you to use your resources?
The problem that James is addressing has to do with a wrong perspective. This perspective was held by many people in those days, and it is still held by many people today. It’s a perspective that says you can only be truly satisfied in life if you can acquire lots of money so that you can buy the most expensive clothes and live in the most expensive house and eat the most expensive food. Verse 5 says, “You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence.” The reason this perspective is wrong is because none of these things will survive the day of judgment that is coming for everyone who has ever lived. Verses 2-3 state, “Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.”
“Whoa, James! Chill out! That’s a little extreme!”
Be careful how defensive you get about money, even if you don’t think you’re rich. God is very clear about the fact that you cannot live for him if you’re living for something else. God is also very clear about the consequences of living for yourself, and the blessings of living for him. No matter how much you store up for yourself here on this earth, it will not last forever. Only God and people last forever, and the impact we make on others through our words and actions. Does your life reflect a love for God and his kingdom? Or are you more concerned with comfort and status for a short time?
“If you and I neglect the welfare of those around us in the pursuit of our own pleasure, God will not let us get away with it.”
The other thing we must be warned about is the wickedness of oppressing others by our love for money. James confronts wealthy landowners who were withholding wages from their laborers. In modern Canada, it might not be that terrible to lose some of your paycheck, especially if you’re a teenager and your parents are able to provide you with food and clothing. But James is writing to people who were actually causing others to die because the money they absolutely needed was not being given to them, even though they worked to earn it. Do you understand how angry this behavior makes God? If you and I neglect the welfare of those around us in the pursuit of our own pleasure, God will not let us get away with it. One day, sinful rich people will be judged, and righteous poor people will be blessed. Take the words of James to heart, and make any necessary adjustments in your life so that you honor God and love others more than yourself!
Live It Out
Take some time this week to read through James 5:1-6 as a family and discuss it’s implications for you and your immediate circumstances.
- How you can use the resources you have, such as they are, to help the poor?
- How can you store up treasure in heaven rather than on earth? (Matthew 6:19-21)
- How might you need to break the mastery of money over your life?
- How can you center your heart on God rather than wealth?
- Read: Observe the similarities between James and Isaiah 58.
- Research: find out more about exploitation in our world today. Share your findings with other believers. Pray together about what you could do to change that.
- Budget: Whatever money you have or make, examine what you do with it. How does your spending reflect your spiritual priorities? What might need to change?