James 5 has five themes, riches, patience, prayer, faith, and restoration. This week we will explore each of these and make pertinent application.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:8)
When we are patient, we are persevering. We will have confidence and hope in life whatever we face because who we are in Christ.
MONEY PROBLEMS: 5:1-6
- What Their Riches Will Bring (5:1-4)
5:1 Woes to the rich and to corruption (Luke 6:24)
5:2-4 Wealth in time is all worthless (Matt. 6:19-20))
5:5-6 Self indulgence is sin and of no benefit (Luke 16:19-20, 25)
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”
- The Way the Rich Used Their Wealth (5: 5)
Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
- The Way They Got Their Wealth (5:4, 6)
4 Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
James is explaining that riches used to profit oneself causes sorrow. He uses words like miseries, corrupted, and moth-eaten clothes. He alludes to the idea that hording was taking place and that laborers were not being paid.
So what is the right use of riches? Riches should be used to further the cause of Christ. What might that look like? Christmas is just around the corner. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. When was the last time that you gave Jesus a gift? There are missionaries, church members, Pastors, Evangelists, and people that have blessed you spiritually. Give them a gift for Jesus sake. Thank them for what they mean to you. What about the homeless and down and out? Jesus ministered to these people. How about giving to a soup kitchen or going to work at a holiday meal.
The possibilities are endless. Also each of us need to remember who provided our riches. God Himself. God gave us the ability to work and earn a living. So when we give a gift to in Jesus name, we are really just giving back for what He has given us.
So how are you going to use your riches this Christmas season?