1 The Christian life—Dangers of Riches James 5:1-6
D1 Believers Should Show Low Priority to Riches James 5:1
D2 Believers Should Know That Riches Can Ruin Us James 5:2-6
James 5:1-6 WEL Now come you rich people, wail and howl for the miseries that will happen to you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have become corroded. Its poison will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have amassed riches for these final days. 4 Look, the pay of the workers who harvested your fields, from which you took a cut for yourself, calls out, and the workers’ pleas for help has entered the ears of the Lord of Heavenly Armies. 5 You have lived a soft life on this earth and [a life given to] pleasure. You have fattened your hearts as for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned [and] killed the righteous. He does not resist you.
  • Defined: a thing that is regarded as more important than another.
  • How do we decide what is more important?
    • I couldn’t find much on that topic. There were plenty of websites how to prioritize, but none on why people choose something as the highest priority.
    • So, this is my guess: self. Some may state that it is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but I have seen many that worship of God is more important than sleep or food, etc. Pain would definitely be something to think about, but again the few times I was in such pain that health personal couldn’t get my attention, I was still praying.
    • The Lord Jesus stated
      • John 4:34 CSB My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work, Jesus told them.
      • John 6:38 CSB For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
      • Matthew 26:39 BSB Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.
  • For some money is too high a priority. Perhaps this why the Scriptures label it a root of evil. 1 Timothy 6:10 CSB For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
  • In our passage, it appears that some people that James knew had money as a higher priority that God’s will. Luke 16:13 CSB No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
  • Note the opinion of the Lord Jesus towards Laodicean church. They seemed to believe that since they were rich materially, they were also spiritually rich: Revelation 3:17 CSB For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
  • Let us heed St. Paul’s inspired admonishment: 1 Timothy 6:8-9 CSB If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.
Ruin= From wrong priorities which led to chaos in their lives which influenced their treatment of others.
  • The love of money finally leads to murder for too many, who must have more.
  • Note, that the righteous did not resist.
  • It has been said that murder is for one or combination of three things—money, sex, or power.
Effects of money=
  • Money gives power, so people can crave it to have more influence: Proverbs 22:7 BSB The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
  • Arrogance: Hosea 12:8 NLT Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!
  • Danger of abandoning the faith: Proverbs 30:8 BSB Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the bread that is my portion.
  • Attitude of “I can do anything myself. I don’t need God.” Nehemiah 9:25-26 NLT Our ancestors captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took over houses full of good things, with cisterns already dug and vineyards and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate until they were full and grew fat and enjoyed themselves in all your blessings. “But despite all this, they were disobedient and rebelled against you. They turned their backs on your Law, they killed your prophets who warned them to return to you, and they committed terrible blasphemies.
  • Injustice: Proverbs 18:23 BSB The poor man pleads for mercy, but the rich man answers harshly.
  • Violence against others: Micah 6:12 BSB For the wealthy of the city are full of violence, and its residents speak lies; their tongues are deceitful in their mouths.
  • Become corrupted by evil desires: 1 Timothy 6:9 NLT But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
  • Can lead to family difficulties: Proverbs 15:27 BSB He who is greedy for unjust gain brings trouble on his household, but he who hates bribes will live.
  • May help deliver from some difficulties and buy justice for themselves, but wealth has no influence on God who judges their soul: Proverbs 11:4 NIV Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
Correct attitude about finances=
  • Recognizing it is from God’s blessing: 1 Chronicles 29:12 BSB Both riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler over all. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to exalt and to give strength to all.
  • Put our trust in God instead of money: 1 Timothy 6:17 BSB Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be conceited and not to put their hope in the uncertainty of wealth, but in God, who richly provides all things for us to enjoy.
  • Not to hoard it but share it for God’s glory: Matthew 6:19 BSB Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
  • To assist widows and other brothers and sisters in their need: 1 Timothy 6:18 BSB Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, and to be generous and ready to share,
  • Name some of the most important things in life.
  • How do we make those the highest priority?
  • How do we continue steadfast in the faith?
  • How does money corrupt a person?
  • How can we use money for God’s glory?
Posted by Choco in 2019 at 08:26
Labels: James, Money, Priorities

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