Summary: Money Talks - James chapter 5 verses 1-6 - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). A Warning against Hoarding Wealth (vs 1-3)

(2). A Warning against Stealing Wealth (vs 4)

(3). A Warning against Decadence Wealth (vs 5-6)


Question: Would you like to be rich?

Answer: Very few of us would say, “Nah, it doesn’t interest me!”


• One wise guy said,

• “They say it’s better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable.

• But couldn’t something be worked out,

• Such as being moderately wealthy and just a little moody?”


• A few quotes that I read this week concerning money;

• They made me smile:

• “Whoever said money can't buy happiness, simply didn't know where to shop.”

• “If time is money are ATMs time machines”

• “A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and it taint mine.”

• Quote: Françoise Sagan

• “Money may not buy happiness, but I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.”

• Quote: Voltaire

• “Don't think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”

• Quote: Francis Bacon

• “Money is a great servant but a bad master.”

• Quote: H.L. Mencken

• “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”

• TRANSITION: Now in this chapter; “it’s about the money.”

• Money is important, because we all need money to pay rent, eat, provide clothing, etc.


• Now most of us would not consider ourselves wealthy,

• Quote: a famous comedian: "If ‘money talks’ all it ever says to me is good-bye"

• Because most of us would not consider ourselves wealthy,

• The temptation is to apply these verses to others and not ourselves;

• Now don’t do that!

• Because we (each person here) is extremely wealthy;

• On a world scale we are all very, very wealthy.

• i.e. We all have food, clothes, shelter, access to medicines and health services,

• And we all probably some money in the bank.

• (Or like Mr ????????? stuffed under the mattress)


• Oxfam notes that more than a billion people still live on less than 1 euro a day (84p);

• Not even enough for a cup of Costas coffee,

• (£2.25 a medium Americano or for we cconnoisseurs £2.50 for the paradise blend!)


• The Bible does not teach that money is evil,

• It teaches that ‘the love of money is evil’

• It is a wrong attitude that makes money dangerous.

• Money is simply a means and any means must be used right or wrong.

• i.e. Money is like a loaded gun: it can be extremely useful in certain situations,

• But you’ve got to use it carefully, or you may hurt others and yourself.

• i.e. Money is like fire. Used properly and under control, fire is a helpful tool.

• But if it is used carelessly or with evil intent,

• It can become a powerful force that destroys both property and life.


(1). A Warning against Hoarding Wealth (vs 1-3)

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 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”.

• Now I do not believe the apostle James is speaking against careful planning.

• It is wise to save for a rainy day, or for retirement, or for unplanned emergencies.

• Numerous scriptures that encourage this.

• 1 Timothy chapter 5 verse 8 & 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 14.

• Matthew chapter 25 verse 27.

• BUT there is a big difference between saving and hording.

• Hording is ‘the excessive acquisition of possessions (and failure to use or discard them)’,

• A more simplistic definition of hoarding is:

• “Wealth without God”

• It is the idea of acquiring as much as you can;

• It’s having the attitude of; ‘it’s all mine – I can do with it what I want!’


• In our times the signs of wealth display themselves in:

• The size of our houses, the type of car we might drive,

• And in the clothes or jewellery we might wear.

• In James’ day, there were three main indicators of wealth.

• James uses three terms to point to the temporary nature of each.

FIRST: there was grain:

• You could store it in large bins or silos.

• But James says a day is coming when (vs 2), “Your riches have rotted.”

SECOND: there was clothing:

• In a world where most of the poor only had the clothes on their backs,

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