WHAT DOES YOUR MONEY SAY ABOUT YOU???
READ JAMES 5:1-6—And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment.
4-6 All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. You’ve looted the earth and lived it up. But all you’ll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse. In fact, what you’ve done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it.
“What does your money say about you?”
OUR PASTOR DURING HIS CHILDREN’S SERMON ALWAYS PULLS OUT A SURPRISE ITEM OUT OF A BAG. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT KIDS WILL SAY ABOUT YOU BUT IT USUALLY IS VERY PERSONAL AND OFTEN TIMES THINGS WE WISHED WERE NEVER SHARED.
LIKE OUR CHILDREN, OUR MONEY TALKS ABOUT US. VISITED MY CPA—HE KNOWS ALL OF OUR BUSINESS.
THIS PASSAGE TALKS ABOUT HOW OUR MONEY WILL TESTIFY ABOUT US WHEN WE STAND BEFORE GOD. THERE WILL BE A DAY OF ACCOUNTING, A DAY WHERE OUR FINANCIAL BOOKS WILL BE FLUNG OPEN AND WILL GIVE A REPORT BEFORE GOD.
THE SITUATION HERE IN JAMES IS SUCH THAT THERE ARE RICH WHO ARE GROSSLY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF POOR JEWISH CHRISTIANS IN JAMES’ CHURCH.
THOSE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THEM ARE RICH FARMERS WHO ARE SELFISH, INDULGING THEMSELVES IN THEIR EXCESS ALL THE WHILE, THE POOR ARE STARVING. THE RICH ARE HOARDING THEIR MONEY AND JAMES SAYS THAT IS WRONG. JAMES DOES NOT HOLD BACK. HE REMINDS ME OF AN OT PROPHET. WE ARE RICH IN THE US.
SO IN WHAT WAYS DOES OUR MONEY TALK ABOUT US?
A. How we GET it. V1, 4, 6
¨ The Bible never condemns the acquisition of wealth by legal and legitimate means.
¨ These rich were not paying their workers. They were day laborers and without it, they would starve and would not have the money to pay their debts. It would be financial disaster. Deut. 24:14-15
¨ Not only this, but the man who exploited his workers had the political power to control the system and prevent his employees from opposing him.
There is an old story about two neighbors, a baker and a farmer. The baker began to be suspicious of the farmer, suspecting that he wasn’t getting his money’s worth when he paid for a pound of butter. He weighed the farmer’s butter on several occasions and finally had him arrested for fraud.
The judge asked the farmer at the trial, “I presume you have scales?”
“Yes, of course, Your Honor,” the farmer replied.
“And weights?” the judge asked.
“No,” replied the farmer. “I don’t have a set of weights.”
“Then how do you hope to weigh accurately the butter you sell to your neighbor?” the judge asked.
“That’s easy,” the farmer said. “When the baker began to buy from me, I decided to buy my bread from him. I’ve been using his one-pound loaves to balance my scales. If the weight of the butter is wrong, he has only himself to blame.”
Citation: Dr. William Mitchell and Michael Mitchell, Building Strong Families (Broadman & Holdman, 1997); submitted by Van Morris, Mount Washington, Kentucky
¨ CPA—decision of whether to reveal the $2008—could have kept it to myself since ½ of it was in cash.
¨ That is how they have become rich.
¨ Employees robbing their employers by your time. Eph 6:5-8
¨ How you gain your money speaks about you?
DO THOSE I HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF CRY OUT TO GOD AGAINST ME?
GET RIGHT WITH PEOPLE.
PAY YOUR BILLS.
REALIZE GOD IS WATCHING.
B. How we GUARD it. V1-3
PROBLEM OF HOARDING—USA TODAY
SEE STORAGE UNITS
¨ The idea is one of hoarding—selfishly keeping it to ourselves and not looking around us to meet the needs of others.
Consumerism is fed by a desire to forget our mortality.
Citation: Kathleen Norris in Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Christianity Today
¨ The use of wealth—grain, garments, and gold & silver suggests the general picture of worldly goods in the ancient world.
¨ The image of rotting food or riches, moth-eaten garments, rusting gold and silver—depict the temporary and useless nature of worldly goods.
¨ Most of us know that gold does not rust, therefore James was saying that our wealth is actually fool’s gold and it has no eternal value.
¨ The rich hoard their wealth and rather than help the needy, they allow such goods to rot.
¨ Instead of sharing their wealth with the needy (a response already spoken of as a sign of saving faith in 2:14-16) they hoard it and see it destroyed from lack of use. What makes this doubly tragic is that they do so in the last days and thus underline the folly of their actions.
¨ Question in heaven will not be “how much did you make?” The question will be, “what did you do with what you had?”
¨ What are we NOT able to do b/c of your lack of giving? Day will come when God will shall us “what could have been done if you had given.”
“WHAT SHALL I DO WITH THIS EXCESS?” So wealthy he did not have to sell his produce that year but saved it. He even had goods to store. He was waiting to sell his produce so as not flood the glutted market. But he never put God into the equation. What would God want me to do with this? He never looked around him and asked, how could I help others with this?
Life has value only when it has something valuable as its object.
Citation: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher, 1770-1831
GARAGE SALE—MARKING PRICES ON ITEMS—BEGIN MENTALLY MARKING YOUR POSSESSIONS AS TEMPORARY. THIS WILL NOT LAST—HOW CAN I USE IT FOR ETERNITY?
C. How we GIVE it. V5
SEINFELD—GEORGE CREATED HIS OWN CHARITY—BOSS GAVE A LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY UNTIL IT WAS DISCOVERED.
WE SET UP OUR OWN CHARITY—OUR OWN SELF-INDULGENCES.
The wealth of the rich becomes like a wasting disease.
The wealth indulge themselves and ignore the poor as if the day of slaughter were not only far away but did not exist at all.
¨ Steers were given the finest grain—the more they eat, the quicker they will be led to the slaughterhouse.
¨ Those who guard their wealth and give it only to themselves as blind to the fact that they are headed toward a day of reckoning.
¨ They follow their selfish appetites and are too blind to see that it is to the ruin of relationships or to the ruin of self-respect.
¨ The problem and danger in having wealth lies in the fact that it can cause us to focus our complete attention on THIS world. We may begin to live for this world alone.
¨ We have seen that it is not what we guard but what we give that makes us rich. When we guard earthly treasure, it rots, ruins, and rusts.
Let us hide away our charity–yes, hide it even from ourselves. Give so often, and so much as a matter of course, that you no more take note that you have helped the poor than that you have eaten your regular meals. Do your alms without even whispering to yourself, “How generous I am!” Do not thus attempt to reward yourself. Leave the matter with God, who never fails to see, to record, and to reward. … This is the bread, which eaten by stealth, is sweeter than the banquets of kings. How can I indulge myself today with this delightful luxury?
Citation: C. H. Spurgeon in Faith’s Checkbook. Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 5
¨ Law of Clarification—God owns it all.
¨ Law of Circulation—God wants His wealth in circulation.
¨ Law of Cooperation—all of God’s wealth belongs to His children.
¨ Law of Cultivation—we are to give out of God’s hand.
FOR TURKEYS’, IT IS THANKSGIVING
FOR STEERS, IT IS A NEW OUTBACK IN TOWN.
FOR US, IT IS AT OUR DEATH.
A DAY OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THOSE WHO HOARD THEIR MONEY & THEIR POSSESSIONS AND KEEP IT ALL TO THEMSELVES IS COMING.