The Poverty of Self-Sovereignty
Passage: James 4:13–5:6
Community Group Discussion Questions:
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Community Group Discussion Questions: James 4:13-5:6
- The theme of God’s sovereignty is weaved throughout the Bible. Describe in your own words what it means that God is sovereign. Why do you think that as a culture, we so strongly push back against God’s sovereignty, trying instead to establish our own sense of self-sovereignty?
- James offers a caution for those who would make plans apart from God (4:13-17). Have you ever been guilty of this? If so, what are some practical steps you can take to create the necessary margins in your life for the unexpected plan of God?
- What is the value in seeing our earthly lives as a “mist” which will soon vanish? (vs. 14)
- If we resolve to pray “If the Lord wills” (v. 15), how would it make a difference in our everyday life choices, decisions, and actions?
- In the second half of this passage, James delivers a very strong rebuke toward the wicked wealthy (5:1-6). What was James’ primary issue with these individuals, their wealth or their misuse of that wealth? Compare James words with Paul’s instructions to the wealthy in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. How would you reconcile the perspectives in these passages?
- James condemns the wicked wealthy for four different things: 1) wealth that is selfishly hoarded, 2) wealth that is created through dishonest gain, 3) wealth that is used for self-indulgence, and 4) wealth that is ruthlessly acquired. To some degree, we are all guilty of these types of things. Which of these has been most prominent in your life? What changes do you need to make to bring this into submission to God’s will?
- Would a non-believer look at your life, specifically the way you spend your time and treasure, and identify your trust in the sovereignty of God? Why or why not?
Prayer suggestion: Focus your prayers for one another on life decisions and the use of our wealth and resources. In every case, pray that God’s will would be done.