Challenges From James: Humble Christians

Friday, 1/15/2010
Pastor Lucas Forsthoff

Humble Christians
James 4:1-12
How many people in here want something that they don’t have? All of us want something that we don’t have.
I am really bad at doing this. I always want something I can’t have. Why is that on the inside of us? I am always wanting a new…
1. New car
2. New dog
3. New clothes
4. New furniture
5. New shoes
6. New hair cut
7. New computer
8. New job
It seems as if in the inner depths of our heart there is always this fleshy voice that speaks loud and says…I want more.
I remember being a young kid and really wanting a snowboard for Christmas. I wrote down my Christmas gifts as a kid and at the top of the list was a snowboard. I know that snowboards are expensive, dangerous, and hard to keep up with but I wanted a snowboard. I constantly reminded my mom of the snowboard and would talk about the brand name I wanted and I was for sure that I was getting a snowboard for Christmas. Finally Christmas morning came and there was no snowboard to be found in those gifts…my parents did not buy me one. I was sad as a child and for the next 2 Christmas’ I continued to ask for this snowboard…but never got it.
There are a lot of products out right now that encourage us to become inward focus and filled with pride. Ipod, itunes, youtube, facebook, myspace//create an entire website all about you, and twitter//you can let people know everything you are doing all the time. All of these things sound horrible and ridiculous when you list them like this, but I participate in all of these things and more.
When I was in high school, there was this kid who always listened to his walkman and when he really like a song, he would sing it out loud and drum on his desk. He was completely consumed with his world and never even thought about how he was annoying all those around him. And when the song got really good, he would take off his headphones and insist that you put them on to listen to the song he loved.
The world sells their products with slogans and campaigns that are focused on you. They want you to become dependent on the product and they convince you that you are going to be happy once you have this product.
But when you read the Bible, it is the exact opposite of this. It says stuff like…
1. Reach out to the poor and help
2. Give money to the needy
3. Give food to the hungry
4. Give water to the thirsty
5. Worship God not yourself
6. Become a friend of God
7. Submit to God
8. Draw near to God
When you are consumed with yourself, it’s called pride. Pride is the most serious, and the most subtle, sin. It often is not even recognized as existing.
Pride is the root of all sin. It causes us to turn away from God instead of turning to God. All disobedience has pride as its root. All rebellion has pride behind it. All mistreatment of other people is caused by pride: someone putting their self and their feelings above the other person and their feelings.
Pride means that you are turning away from God…and once you turn away from God, then all the other sins will easily follow.
Jesus was the most humble person who ever lived. He came down from Heaven…The most perfect place where He was worshipped nonstop. And came to earth where he was an adopted child, poor, homeless, couldn’t pay his taxes, beaten, spit on, betrayed by those closest to him, and murdered…FOR US!
Read James 4:1-12
v.3 if prayer was a simple formula of (say the right words, believe hard enough, confess; it will happen) then it has come down to magic. God wants us to be in tune with him. The prayers of these people are comparison to a spoiled child asking for the best piece of steak after he has already had enough.
v. 7 Freedom is not always a good thing. I would rather be a slave to Christ.

I. Humility Cures Worldliness
Humility is not…
1. Fear of man
True Humility is…
1. Fear of God
a. Proverbs says that this is the beginning of wisdom
2. Christ like
a. He became like us so that He could save us
b. Nobody is humble but you can try to be humble
3. Accepting your place
a. Root word literally means, knowing your place
i. Romans 12 says, don’t think of yourself more than you are.

When you are judging others, you cannot do it while being lifted up with pride. The Jewish Christians all over the Roman Empire were hypocritically judging others while being lifted up with pride.
How do you judge without hypocrisy and pride?

II. Judging Like Jesus
1. We live in a world where we are really encouraged to have tolerance of people and we should just accept them for who they are and love on them the best we know how. Why don’t you just love me for who I am? No, we must be willing to show them that Jesus is better.
2. You can call sin: sin
3. Boasting in your sin is not good
a. Jesus was tempted just like we were but He did not sin. He was sinless but died because of sin.
4. Christians must be judgmental like Jesus
a. Be around people who do not claim to be Christians and live alternative lifestyles. Leave those alone who claim to be Christians but refuse to change.