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Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Read: James 4:13-5:6
Listen: James 4


After addressing matters of faith and the heart, James tackles a core issue in the first-century church: how should wealthy Christians think about and handle their finances? Though the majority of Christians in the first century were poor, some were wealthy enough that the New Testament provides answers to this question (see also 1 Tim. 6:17-18). James warns certain affluent Christians that their wealth should not be hoarded or used to fuel self-indulgence (as it had been). Instead, it is a tool for the glory of God and the good of others.

There are many similarities between our affluent society and James’s wealthy audience. Just as James warns these believers about the danger of wealth and the importance of living for God and others, we must also be careful about how we use what God has given us. Rather than being consumed with the things of this world (such as money, possessions and earthly comforts), we are to focus on honoring God and serving others—which implies that we use the wealth and resources we have been given for the benefit of those around us.

TODAY: Spend some time considering what living intentionally with money looks like. Notice the advertisements or messaging that encourage you to buy more or expand your lifestyle. Spend time in prayer asking God to help you resist the natural pull of our culture and instead live a life of contentment and generosity.


Read Genesis 38-40. Highlight anything that points to Jesus. Consider Joseph’s plight and how he is a type of Christ.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.