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To Wither or Flourish


James 1:9-11

Verse 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.


We finished our discussion yesterday with the idea that focusing on money, whether the abundance or the lack thereof, means we are focusing on the things of the world instead of the eternal. So how do we adjust our focus?


Adjusting our focus starts deeper than the issue of finances. What we focus on reflects the ruler of our hearts. When we focus on the things of the earth, like money, status and any other thing that has no lasting value, we are saying that this earth and the life we live here, is the things that are most important to us. To know the truth about ourselves and where our focus lies, let’s do a quick self-evaluation.


There are two basic ways to see where our priorities stand. What do our calendars and bank accounts say about us? Are the things on our calendar mainly about the kingdom of self or the kingdom of God? Do our finances go to make our lives plusher or do they go to things that will be furthering the Gospel?


If we answered these questions with a self-focused answer we may have just learned about ourselves that we are living a life focused on the temporal and therefore not a life that will be lasting. It will also be more vulnerable to the storms that could come along in life whether a storm of weather, health or relationship.


If we answered with a perspective on the things of God’s kingdom we can’t take pride in that. We can’t think of it as a sign of having arrived at some superior level of Christianity. It just shows that at this particular minute we are living in a way that is God honoring. Once again, if we aren’t careful, we will find ourselves crumbling due to the storms of life.


Neither of these perspectives are permanent. It is easy to find ourselves waffling back and forth between the two and that is the very double-minded thinking that James has been warning us about. This is the thing we need to be watching for in our own lives. If we are wanting to live for Him alone, we need to make sure we are living with Him always in mind. If we focus on the things of this world, we will wither like the flowers of the field.


Making It Personal

What did your answers to the self-evaluation questions reveal about your heart? Do you have any changes that you need to make in your life? What choices do you need to continue making to remain intentional about eternal thinking?


Making It Personal Kids

What’s the difference between eternal and temporal? What is a way that you can think eternally? What is the danger of not thinking about eternity?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for reminding us about the danger of being double-minded. Help us to be aware of any time that we start to waver in our devotion to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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