Home > Bible Study, Devotional, James Devotional, Wisdom > James – Thursday, April 2

James – Thursday, April 2

oppressionJAMES 5:1-6

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 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. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

James had no doubt heard his half-brother (Jesus) teach many times on the subject of riches and those that had them. Now James is condemning the rich—not because they are rich, but for the way they lived with their riches. It’s not a sin to be wealthy, but it is a sin to trust in riches (Mark 10:23-24; 1 Timothy 6:17), to love money (1 Timothy 6:10), or to be tightfisted (contrast 1 Timothy 6:18).

They had hoarded wealth (they were not generous with what God gave them). They had failed to pay those who had worked for them, or had paid them very poorly. They lived opulent lifestyles. They had destroyed people’s lives, obviously for the purpose of increasing their own wealth.

Their judgment is predicted here. God is keeping track of such sins, and unless there is repentance and trust in Christ unto the new birth, they will answer fully to Him for all they’ve done.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. What is your view of riches? What are your personal desires concerning money? What should your desires be? To help you with your answer, read Proverbs 30:7-9 and 1 Timothy 6:6-9.

2. How are those desires shaping the way you live? Before you answer, read Matthew 6:19-21.

3. Now might be a good time to reassess some of your personal goals. How have they changed as a result of the study of the epistle of James?

  1. Peggy
    April 2, 2009 at 9:29 am

    In responding to question three, I reflect back upon James 1:22, as a core and pivotal point in my study of James via this devotional. The “coming home” of that verse in new ways in to my life has changed not just my goals, as question three references, but has colored every facet of my vision, I pray. The way the conviction of the Holy Spirit moved in my life as that verse opened up and God’s wisdom came forth, went directly to my heart.

    I also remember having this verse affirmed the day we received this teaching from the devotional. We had a tax preparation appointment that day and a poster greeted me right away upon entering the office and the poster had a quote from Benjamin Franklin as follows:

    “Well Done Is Better Than Well Said”

    And I smiled when I read that, thinking, “where have I heard that before?” and of course, it can be a representation of James 1:22:

    “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

    I’ve included a portion of your teaching from March 16th during our James devotional study, which covered James 1:22, Pastor Bill, below as follows:

    “There is a warning, however: we must not deceive ourselves into thinking that merely listening to the Word is the same as obeying or believing it. There is a myriad of people who sit in our church’s pews who suppose that by being in church and listening to a weekly sermon, they are fulfilling God’s requirements for their lives. Such thinking is foolishness, like a man who forgets what he looks like after having seen himself in a mirror.
    In contrast, those who take the Bible seriously by believing and obeying its liberating message of grace and truth discover a life of blessedness.”

    Asking God for all that it takes to obey this verse has been life, therefore, goal, changing as well, for me, in a plethora of ways too numerous to list. God’s Holy Spirit is at work within us as we study His Word and we are changing from glory to glory because of it. I cannot have a higher goal than that.

    God be praised!

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