Summary: Wealth, Hoarding, Tithing, Others
LIFE APP – Using Things, But Loving People
James 5:1-6 (p. 849) October 12, 2014
[They called him “Trey” even though his real name is William. He was a bit of an underachiever. He was the class clown in school...somewhat of a rebellious “goof-off.” It got to the point that Trey’s parents felt it necessary to send him off to a private school which would provide a more strict and structured environment for him. He visited a psychologist for a while to help him better understand how to focus his concentration. When Trey was 13 he met a friend who had similar interests. As these two “nerdy” friends grew older, they went off to college, but quit after a couple of years to form their own company. They had some interesting ideas and a little bit of money, about 15 grand. But they made the right decisions with Trey’s first simple product, and received the attention of a business giant. They paid Trey to develop something they needed. He did...and he continued to build on that success...and 10 years later at the age of 35 he became the youngest person in America to reach Billion (that’s with a B) status. Now in his late fifties he was one of the richest private individuals in the entire world with a net worth of over 81 billion (yes that a Big B).
You know young Trey as William (Bill) Gates III, the founder of Microsoft. He returned as CEO in 2008 and spends his time working for his foundation.
But Bill Gates has already told his children he will not be leaving them a vast fortune. He is only giving them a miniscule (10 million each) part of his empire...Why: His response “I will pay for my children’s education and health care but I expect them to be a contributing part of society...I expect them to become independent enough to support themselves.”
Most of us don’t have to worry about vast wealth or being “billionaire trust fund babies” or having to make it on our own with a measly 10 million.
But as James opens up Chapter five he writes “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery coming on you.” (v. 1)
Who’s he talking to? Is it the “rich guy in Chapter 2 who comes into the church meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes?”
In fact...early in his letter James mentions that “The rich should take pride in their humiliation – since they will pass away like a wildflower.” (1:10)
Clearly James hasn’t written his letter to rich people...His letter has been addressed to the 12 tribes scattered among the nations...the recipients of this letter are poor Jews, scattered and persecuted all over the place throughout the world. So who are these “rich people” who should “weep and wail” because of the misery coming. James identifies these people with 3 characteristics...first:
I. THEY HOARD THEIR WEALTH
Right now in my pantry I have 2 giant supermarket cases of Donut Days Coffee...