James 5:1-6 (NLT) “Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.”
I find it interesting that some of the words we read in the various parts of the Bible are not that gracious at times – on important, serious issues the words are often blunt and to the point. I feel it’s sad, that in these days of political correctness and soft politeness, that many preachers only serve bread and milk to their people. I think there is not enough meat and tough honesty in many of today’s sermons – the risk is that we start to act like spoilt children and we don’t grow spiritually. If this issue is not dealt with, we could become a church, filled with day-old Christians. What do you think?
I like Selwyn’s conclusion:“The warning James gives to the ungodly rich, who have built up their riches in a dishonest manner, should alert the people of God to the pitfalls of materialism. Keep in mind that money is a good servant but a terrible master.”
The money we have, can be used as a servant within the Church – especially to feed the ‘widows’ and to provide care for the ‘orphans’ (I’m using the words, widows and orphans in a broad sense, to signify anyone in need.) We should hold onto our wealth – with an open hand – so that it can easily slip off, to aid in God’s work. That is, we don’t tightly grasp onto our wealth – never letting it go. We must be good stewards of the wealth which God has temporarily loaned to us.