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With prophetic fury, James condemns "the rich" (the wicked wealthy) because they have trusted in money and power to save them, they have used money and power to take advantage of others, and they have lived selfishly with their money and power. In the face of such injustice, God promises to bring final judgment. As Christians who live entirely by g…
 
We all seek to make plans for our lives, but there is a right approach and a wrong approach to planning our lives. Rather than having an attitude of arrogant self-sufficiency, Christians should place humble dependence on God’s sovereignty, which brings freedom from tomorrow’s worries and strength for today’s obedience.…
 
In the midst of life that is hard and full of trials, God gives us something better than life - namely, Himself. In our trials, we discover the goodness of God, as we engage in disciplined, dogged pursuit, as well as remembrance and repetition. And we can know that God is better than life because He satisfies us and He strengthens us. May we lean i…
 
Building off of last week's teaching, James continues to point out marks of an inconsistent life that are oppositions to a thriving community. In this passage, James is calling for repentance over the quarrels, conflicts, and slander plaguing their communities caused by double-mindedness and a divided heart. He then exhorts his readers to humble th…
 
We're always on the search for wisdom to make right decisions, but we have to make sure we're leaning into the right kind of wisdom. Here, James contrasts false wisdom with true wisdom. Unlike false wisdom which is self-seeking and results in a destructive life, true wisdom is godly character and results in a thriving life. Ultimately, for James, t…
 
As we have been learning, James is calling for consistency in our lives that shows evidence of genuine faith. He previously called for no partiality, care for the vulnerable, and a faith that works. And so another area where James calls for consistency is in our talk. He calls us to take care to control our tongue because it is so powerful. And in …
 
Rightly understanding the relationship between faith and works is crucial to a thriving life. Here, James outlines the important relationship between faith and works. First, faith apart from works is dead. Second, faith involves orthopraxy, not just mere orthodoxy. And third, works are the proof of genuine faith. A working faith will work. A faith …
 
In a heavy honor/shame culture (very similar to our Asian culture in a lot of ways), James teaches that we ought not to show partiality based on wealth and status because it violates the royal law of "loving your neighbor as yourself". Showing partiality shows a heart that stands in judgment over others rather than mercy. The challenge for us is to…
 
While everyone goes through trials in life, not everyone grows through those trials. Here in our passage, James shows how we can better navigate our trials so that they don't morph into destructive temptations. If we want to come out the other side better rather than bitter, we need to guard our hearts and we need to guide our eyes.…
 
The Christian life is a dynamic life that involves growth. As such, Christians are called to walk on the path to maturity. In our passage, James shows us what the path to maturity involves. It involves embracing trials as opportunities for growth, praying for wisdom in faith, and finding one's identity in the Gospel.…
 
God offers a final word of encouragement to His people by promising them hope. And the hope that God offers is the establishing of His Kingdom through the Messiah. Zerubbabel serves as a confirmation and a preview of the King who is to come - Jesus Christ. And through our passage, we see that what we need in order to thrive in seasons of uncertaint…
 
We are continuing our Haggai Series looking at Haggai 2:10-19. In the previous two weeks, we learned that thriving in "less than ideal" circumstances calls for right priorities (worshipping God) and obedience (obeying God). This week, we will learn the third aspect, which was purity (right heart towards God). Even when the Israelites were doing the…
 
After the Israelites respond to God's call to rebuild the Temple, initial excitement soon gives way deep discouragement. Like the Israelites, we too may experience the difficulties of obedience. But as God's people, we should live in obedience to God because there are some important blessings that only come through obedience. Obedience brings the b…
 
After returning from exile in Babylon, the Israelites were initially filled with excitement to be back. But their excitement quickly gave way to apathy, and decades later, the Temple still remained in ruins. In their failure to prioritize worship, God sends the prophet Haggai to re-issue the call to rebuild the Temple. Worship is to be a priority a…
 
As Christians, we feel the tension of having both earthly citizenship and heavenly citizenship. We are in the world, but not of the world. So, what does it look like to rightly engage with our world? How can we thrive with civic health? Well, rather than isolating ourselves from the world or assimilating ourselves to the world, thriving with civic …
 
This Sunday we will look at "Thriving with Financial Health". Rather than looking at it from a pure "get your finances in check" point of view (albeit important), I wanted to give weight to the topic the way the Bible addresses it, which is mainly an issue of the heart. We will first explore the warnings and dangers the Bible presents in regards to…
 
Work is undoubtedly a very important part of our lives. Most of us will spend on average about 100,000 hours of our lives doing work. But our work is more than just our job or our career, but it is our calling. Historically, Christians have understood that it was God who called them to do certain work. And if we are called by God, then our vocation…
 
We've been learning over the past few weeks of how different aspects of your life and (spiritual, mental, physical, emotional) self are interconnected, and that the thriving we hope to pursue is holistic. Therefore it's crucial that we learn to thrive relationally because healthy relationships enhance all our other "healths" (mental, emotional, phy…
 
Mental health is such a complex intersection of spiritual, physiological, emotional, and relational factors that it's hard to give a comprehensive definition, but in general, thriving with mental health means loving God with all of our mind in such a way that we think, feel, and act in ways that are pleasing to God. And we can pursue after mental h…
 
In order to thrive with physical health, we need a biblical theology of our bodies. In looking at what the Bible has to say about our bodies, we see that God has created us as embodied creatures, sin has impacted our bodies, Christ has redeemed not just our souls but also our bodies, and that we have the hope of a bodily resurrection. In seeing the…
 
When it comes to our emotions, we tend to fall into one of two errors: we either ignore our emotions or we idolize our emotions. But as we see throughout Scripture, we are called to rightly engage with our emotions in order to more deeply worship God. We do so by identifying, examining, evaluating, and rightly responding to our emotions. And in doi…
 
This week, we begin a 7-part series on Thriving Health in the different arenas of human life (spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, relational, vocational, and financial). If we want to obey the call to thrive, it is important that we strive to be healthy holistically in each of these seven categories. We start this series by first exploring how …
 
As the Apostle Paul closes out his letter to the Galatians, he ends with a call to live the cross-centered life. Rather than living in fear of human rejection or living in love of human praise, we can live the cross-centered life by boasting in the cross and by walking by the Spirit. This cross-centered life will be especially lived out in the cont…
 
I want to include the last verse of chapter 5 (v.26) because I think it fits with the overall message of chapter 6:1-10. Here Paul is explaining the practical outworkings and evidence of a Spirit filled life, and that is to love one another. Walking in the Spirit means the freedom to truly love one another through mutual accountability. This means …
 
In this letter, the Apostle Paul has graciously reminded us of the freedom we have in Christ and he has exhorted us to live in that freedom. But as we have all experienced, we struggle to live like we’re free. And the reason for this struggle is because we face an internal battle between our flesh and the Holy Spirit - between who we were born as a…
 
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