Summary: Everyone wants to get the best value for their money. Let’s examine giving from an economic viewpoint. Based on a sermon by Mark Adams.
Right on the Money!
Text: James 5:1-6
Sometimes they are people who can never get enough of a good thing. Now that maybe money or what we call doe. A guy goes into this little Italian restaurant, a Mom and Pop shop, and he orders dinner. These owners run their business with pride and they aim to please their customers.
This customer loved bread and he thought one piece wasn’t enough, so the waiter apologized. The next night the customer came back for dinner and the waiter made sure he had two pieces of bread. The customer said the food is great, but 2 pieces of bread just isn’t enough. The next night he comes back and the waiter said, “Hey! Three pieces of bread for him. After the meal the customer said “Still not enough bread.”
Mom and Pop said they would solve this problem. The next night the customer came back and Mom and Pop had baked this special piece of bread. They brought it out to him. It was six feet long and three feet wide and they laid on a big table in front of him. He looked at it and said “So, we are back to one piece again uh!”
Sometimes some people can never get enough. In James’ day, and I’m afraid in our world to, this usually involves “MONEY”.
Now listen to what James has to say to some of the rich people of his day. Now we might say, “Who is he talking to?” That’s a good question, because James is writing a letter, so who is writing to?
---1---“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
So it’s too the twelve tribes but when we read verse 2 and 3 it gets more specific about who in the twelve tribes he is addressing.
---2---“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
---3---knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
It says “your faith” so I have to conclude he is talking to Christians of the faith.
I bring this up because some say that James at this place in his letter is now addressing the rich people of the world. I don’t know why, because they wouldn’t read his letter anyway, they couldn’t care less.
No I have to believe that James is talking to Christians, and some are very well off financially! James’ big point in this letter is how Christians could become authentic, and so he tells them how to live their life as opposed to those who live after the wisdom of the world. Some of these Christians have money, and it seems to me James is telling them how the world’s rich lives, so they won’t fall into that trap with their wealth.
Let’s read what he says and you can decide what he is saying for yourself.
---1---“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.
---2---Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.
---3---Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!
---4---Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your field, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
---5---You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
---6---You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.”
We view rich people in a lot of different ways in our society. In a lot of ways we view them as bad guys, because some are.
In the movies we watch where the plot is some version of good vs evil—the evil person—the bad guy—will often be filthy rich. We remember the movie “It’s a wonderful life,” the good guy is George Bailey struggling to help the whole town makes ends meet, while the evil Mr. Potter has so much money he can buy banks after the stock market crash of 1929.
In Disney’s 101 Dalmatians the good guys is the poor song writer and his wife who are trying to make a good home for all those cute little spotted puppies. The bad guy is the filthy rich skunk, Cruella DeVille.
We can look at the James Bond movies and there is always an evil genius with enough billions to finance the construction of some secret base from which he plans to take over the world.