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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: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). Priorities (vs 1-6)

(2). Patience (vs 7-12)

(3). Prayer (vs 13-18).

(4). Personal Concerns (vs 19-20).

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• Definitions matter.

• Do you know what these words mean?

• ABDICATE:

• To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

• ADULT:

• A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.

• ANTIQUE:

• 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.

• BATHROOM:

• 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.”

Ill:

• 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.”

• TRANSITION:

• 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)

Ill:

• 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!)

Ill:

• 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”.

Note:

• 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.

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