Summary: Advice from a friend . . . it can be extremely helpful and life changing if listened to and applied. Jim has a lot to teach us. Let’s listen and learn.
According to Jim
Practical advice for practical living! Wisdom that we often fail to apply or live out and therefore we pay the price. Let’s listen and learn!
1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your 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. 4Look! 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. 5You 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.
(You thought you were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment. 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.)
A. According to Jim the one with the most toys doesn’t always win!
The people Jim encountered must have been like those around us. They flaunted their wealth. They showed their wealth through — grain, clothing and jewels. James says all of those things will decay. If you are not careful, you will give your entire life for things that will not last and that have no eternal significance. There will be no U-Haul attached to your hearse!
In verse 5, James says the people have used their money selfishly. Jim is not against toys or wealth. He simply makes an indictment on how much power money has over us. Money, houses, cars have become our God. We allow them to control our time, our thoughts, our planning, and our hearts! We become possessed by possessions!
Who owns your soul? What or who are you loyal too? The most important aspect of money management is the control of our attitude towards it. Money is not “the root of all evil” as Paul is often misquoted. His actual words are, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”. Just as selfishness and ambition release all kinds of evil into the body – the love of money is the root from which all kinds of evil can branch out into your life.
7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. 9Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
(The Master could arrive at any time.)
B. According to Jim we should keep one eye peeled.
We have forgotten that Jesus could come back right now! We have no expectancy anymore of rapture or return and it causes us to rupture relationship.