This is our final week of boot camp and we will look at all of James 5. Congratulations on making it to the final week!
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
In James 4:9 he told the people to grieve, wail and mourn for their sins and to repent. In these verses James is telling the people of what is to happen at the time of judgement. They will be “weep and wail” because of the misery brought upon them by the judgement of the Lord because of their actions. Let’s take a look at what their actions were like.
Their focus was on accumulating and “hoarding wealth”. There is nothing wrong with having money or things, but it is the attitude of heart towards it that makes the difference. If your sole purpose is the accumulation of money and stuff, your heart is not in the right place.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus is very clear about the fact that money and stuff can become a heart issue. Instead of accumulating stuff here on earth, we should be trying to build up “treasures in heaven”; eternal rewards based on how we live our lives here on earth. Where is your treasure? What is it you work towards gaining? What attitude do you have towards money and stuff?
The next thing James addresses is the unfair treatment of the workers. We all want to be successful at what we do, but not at any cost. Have you ever done something to get ahead that harmed someone else? Have you ever taken credit for someone else’s work or exaggerated your contributions or put someone else down in order to make yourself look better? Earning money, promotions, accolades and stuff at any cost isn’t really earning anything but heartache. When our selfish ambition becomes the priority, we are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead.
James addresses them for having “lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence”. Does that describe your life? Are you focused on earning more and getting further ahead in your career so you can enjoy the luxuries of life? Having luxuries in and of themselves is not a problem, but we need to make sure we keep our hearts and attitudes in check. What does God want us to be doing? If we get a raise or a bonus – how does He want us to spend it?
As we begin this week. look at the luxuries you have in your life or the things you treasure, is your heart in the right place? How are you spending the money you earn? Are you seeking the Lord and how He would have you spend it or are you making your own plans and storing up treasures for yourself on earth?
- All Scripture references are from http://www.biblegateway.com