Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
Wealth, riches, money, possessions regularly pop up throughout the Bible. The Bible doesn’t condemn wealth as such, but the regular warnings about the power of wealth should cause us to pay attention.
Why is it that the subject of wealth is one we need to be aware of?
A pursuit for anything other than Jesus has the potential to become the driving force of our lives. Wealth is the currency of so much of every day life: money allows us to eat, to fill up the car with petrol, to take a holiday, to give when the offering bag comes round. Money allows us to bless others, help others, it allows us to buy clothes, shelter, treats.
We’ve explored in this James series how we all have this desire for something more or better, money is the currency that tells us we can get more or better.
But as we strive for more and better, it always evades our grasp. In other words, there is always more and better, so we strive for more wealth, more currency to try and attain the more or better.. and the cycle continues.
James 5:1-6 is a warning about the accumulation and misuse of money. He’s warning that getting caught up in a cycle of accumulating wealth will eventually only exist to feed and fatten our selfish nature which is contrary to the character of God that James is desiring each one of us would grow into.
At the beginning of this week can I ask you to do a little MOT about your relationship with wealth…
How much power does the pursuit of wealth hold in your life?
Do you equate wealth with happiness?
How healthy is your relationship with money and wealth?
Take some time today, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and honestly reflect where you sit in relation to wealth, money in light of this passage of scripture in James.
Have a good day
Pastor Jon Keel