Joel Sandoval grew up in an Adventist home, but his life was not transformed by God’s grace. As a teen he resented the restrictions that the church represented. At age 15 he dropped out of church and joined a gang. He quickly became involved in organized crime, drugs, and spiritism. He had his body tattooed with symbols of the devil and began smoking marijuana. Soon he moved to hard drugs, such as cocaine.
Joel’s parents allowed him to live […]
Further Study: “Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God’s children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed, and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ.
When someone has done wrong, the natural tendency is to try to escape responsibility. Often people try to do this by transferring the responsibility to someone else-including the person who has been wronged. Murderers excuse themselves by pleading self-defense or blaming their upbringing. By saying they were enticed, sexual abusers blame the victim. Husbands and wives who get divorced typically blame the other for the failed marriage. Those guilty of killing the martyrs of the Christian faith blamed the martyrs […]
You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter (James 5:5, ESV; compare Ezek. 16:49, Amos 4:1). What do these passages link to luxurious indulgence?
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In the ancient world the notion prevailed that there was a fixed amount of wealth, meaning that if the wealth of some people increased, the wealth of others had to decrease. In other words, the rich can get richer […]
You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.
Reading through James, we may notice that several different categories of wealthy people are mentioned, including rich merchants who will be cut down in the midst of their pursuits (James 1:11), business people who sue to protect their investments (James 2:6), and agricultural landholders who have withheld wages from their laborers (James 5:4). These verses describe the rich negatively based on their past behavior, present attitude, and future punishment. These people have essentially heaped up treasure (James 5:3, NKJV) at […]
Read James 5:2-3. What warning is James giving here? Though his words are quite strong, what kind of wealth is he talking about? What’s the basic message?
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Rotting wealth, moth-eaten clothing, and even silver and gold rusting-these are images for us to consider soberly as our planet spins blissfully on, faster and faster toward its demise.
The world’s economic situation always seems to be going from one crisis to another; even the good times, […]
Chapter 5 of James begins with a bang: Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! (James 5:1, NKJV). No doubt, that would have gotten his readers’ attention.
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In James 1:10-11, he reminded the rich of the impermanence of wealth. Here, in chapter 5 , he urges those who stubbornly hold on to it to weep and howl. It is as if their impending judgment is even now […]
Read for This Week’s Study: James 5:1-6, Ps. 73:3-19, 1 Sam. 25:2-11, Lev. 19:13, Luke 16:19-31, Matt. 5:39.
Memory Text: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).
The worldwide popularity of the television show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? suggests that many people vicariously enjoy the rags-to-riches fantasy and probably hope it could happen to them someday.
But wealth isn’t all that many believe it to be. Studies suggest that increasing income follows the […]
As a teenager Solomon was not so smart. He let his peers influence his decisions and began smoking and taking drugs. He experimented with every drug he could get, and often he grew weak because he was not eating. Drugs were all he cared for.
Solomon and his friends were always together, smoking and taking drugs. They formed a gang and often fought with other teens. Once when he was high on drugs he picked up a machete, ready […]