Summary: Putting Faith Into Action - James chapter 5 verse 1-20. - Sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1). Priorities (vs 1-6)
(2). Patience (vs 7-12)
(3). Prayer (vs 13-18).
(4). Personal Concerns (vs 19-20).
• Definitions matter.
• Do you know what these words mean?
• To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
• A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
• An item your grandparents bought, your parents got rid of, and you’re buying again.
• AVOIDABLE: What a bullfighter tries to do.
• BALDERDASH: A rapidly receding hairline.
• A room used by the entire family, believed by all except Mom to be self-cleaning.
• COFFEE: A person who is coughed upon.
• DERANGE: Where de buffalo roam.
• GROCERY LIST:
• What you spend half an hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.
• OVERSTUFFED RECLINER: Mom’s nickname for Dad.
• POLYGON: A dead parrot.
• VEGETARIAN: Old Indian word for bad hunter.
• TRANSITION: now in this sermon I want to give you 4 key words;
• Please do not misunderstand them!
(1). Priorities (vs 1-6)
“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. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.”
• While on a trip to Switzerland,
• An America businessman was watching a Swiss clockmaker;
• As he carved out the case of an ornate cuckoo clock.
• As the businessman watched the clockmaker carve out the case,
• He was astounded at his slow rate of progress.
• The businessman finally said,
• “My good man, you’ll never make much money that way.”
• “Sir,” the clockmaker replied,
• “I’m not making money, I’m making cuckoo clocks.”
• That story illustrates the fact that people have different priorities.
• Now in this first section;
• The apostle James issues two very practical warnings to the wealthy:
• 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 ????????? 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!)
• Of course if you are not rich and you want to get rich;
• Let me tell you how to do it.
• Quote: John D. Rockefeller’s three simple rules for anyone who wants to become rich:
• One: Go to work early.
• Two: Stay at work late.
• Three: Find oil.
2 THINGS TO NOTE FROM THIS PASSAGE:
(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”.
• The apostle James is not 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)’,
James is not speaking against saving but very much speaking against hoarding wealth:
• Hoarding wealth is leaving God out of the equation.