Big Idea: A person who is wise will keep life in perspective.
If you knew that tomorrow your bank account would be empty and all that you would have left were the things you had purchased, what would you do? Obviously, you would buy everything you could. What if you owned a large amount of stock in a company that was going to collapse the next day? You would sell. Only a very strange person would hold onto something they knew they were about to lose. It is obvious that we ought to invest in the things we can keep, and try to use the things we are losing as wisely as possible to purchase the things that will last.
It is a cliche, but not a false one, that there are no U-Haul trailers for hearses. Material possessions are passing away; James says that they are already corroded and moth-eaten. A wise person will see that, and invest their life in the life to come. The situation is really more dire: our possessions will testify against us for wasting the precious lives that God entrusted us with. Failing to use the gifts of God is not just foolish, it is wicked, because we are stockpiling our treasures for the last days.
We must live like we expect Jesus to return at any moment. That means being slow to anger, quick to love, and eager to invest the blessings we receive. We have to patiently endure, waiting on Jesus to finish in the world what He started in our hearts.
Discussion Idea: What things distract you from eternity? How can you use those things to bring glory to God instead of yourself?
Prayer Focus: Pray for an opportunity to give up something this week that would bring glory to God in exchange.