Summary: This sermon looks at three ways in which handle money. I. The Method In Which We GET Our Money II. The Reason We SAVE Our Money III. The Way We SPEND Our Money
Being Wise With Your Money
Today we are going to continue our sermon series – “Living Life Wisely”. We have been going through the book of James – I have said it is a very practical book – perhaps the most practical book in the Bible. Today James is going to tell us how to be wise with our wealth. We will be looking at the first six verse of chapter five – in James. Follow along with me as I read:
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” James 5:1-6 (NKJV)
Many people wrongly believe that the Bible teaches that it’s wrong to be wealthy. They think that the Bible says: “Money is the root of all evil”. But the Bible does not teach this. What the Bible says is:
“The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.” 1 Tim 6:10 (NASV)
God is not opposed to wealth. In fact, many people in the Bible were extremely wealthy. Abraham was probably a millionaire – if it was valued according to today’s standards. David and Solomon were both wealthy men of their time. Job was also wealthy – and the list could go on and on. It is not wealth that is evil. Look at First Timothy again and circle, “The love of money”. You see that is where the real problem arises. It is the misuse of money – the love of money – that causes all kinds of problems.
James lashes out at the wrong use of money by the wealthy. He gives a rebuke – probably one of the most negative passages in the Bible against the misuse of money. He looks at three specific areas we need to be aware of when it comes to money. James gives his listeners a healthy warning of how they should handle their wealth. In other words – How to be Wise with Money. Let’s look how God wants us to handle our money in three areas:
I. The Method In Which We GET Our Money
The way we get our money is as important as the money we receive. The first question I want to ask you today is – Where does your money come from? Do you get it by honest means? Look at what James is telling his readers – about the dishonest way they have accumulated their wealth:
“You have not paid any wages to those who work in your fields. Listen to their complaints! The cries of those who gather in your crops have reached the ears of God, the Lord Almighty.” James 5:4 (GN)
Go ahead and circle the words – “not paid”. Folks let me tell you up front – this is a serious issue. Over and over again in the Bible - God tells employers that they are to treat their employees with fairness and justice. But you say – “I’m not an employer.” Yes, you are. Let me give you an example. When you walk into a restaurant and order a meal – in essence you have just hired the waitress to get the order for you. You have hired the cook to cook the meal. You expect the waitress to deliver the meal to you and the cook to prepare the food for you. You have hired them for their service. Here is the warning – DON’T SHORT CHANGE THEM. God is not pleased when we cheat others. Don’t be dishonest. Don’t rip people off. Look at what the book of Jeremiah tells us:
"Doom to him who builds palaces but bullies people, who makes a fine house but destroys lives, Who cheats his workers and won’t pay them for their work.” Jeremiah 22:13 (MSG)
God is very serious about how you get your money. Don’t fill your pockets by cheating people out of what you owe them. Don’t be dishonest with people. Don’t rip them off. When you get a bill in the mail – pay it. When you owe someone something – pay what is due.
Employees – treat your employers fairly also. Give an honest days work for an honest days pay. If you sell used cars – do it with honesty. If you’re get paid by the hour – don’t sit around wasting time. How you get your money – matters. Proverbs says: