There is nothing wrong with wealth; it's how you handle it that matters. As a Christian it really matters if you are a squanderer or a miser. Money doesn't really bring happiness and contentment because earthly possessions can become a disappointment. What good is hoarding money to never be used? In the end, someone will fight over it. Watching how the Lord uses money we give back to Him is amazing and hearing from those who have been on the receiving end of what the Lord did is an encouragement to use it for Him. Just a few simple thoughts without theology from James 5
Simple Thoughts Without Theology Allowing God to Use our Wealth
James 5:1-3 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
We can have everything that we have ever wanted and still be unhappy. When we put our trust in earthly possessions, we end up being disappointed many times. We are not content. In this day and age, we see a particular cell phone being upgraded every few months. When the new one comes out, many people ditch the older one for the new one just to have a new function. Why? They are not content! There are those, that have more money than they know what to do with, but yet they dress shabbily or live in a run down house. Why? They want to leave their estate with millions? They want people to be surprised in the end?
James 5:4-6 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
To me these verses bring to mind those that own businesses and pay their employees peanuts. There have been many business men and women who have died after living a prosperous life, but they left nothing good for people to remember them by. My father in law owned a roofing business and he made sure his employees were paid before he even paid himself. I met one of those employees at his funeral, this man had nothing but praises for my father in law. What a wonderful testimony as a businessman! We can't take our wealth with us when we die. We might as well have a generous spirit and share things with those that really could use it. We will enjoy it more, if we can see others enjoy it also.
James 5:7-9 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
We are living in a time, where I have read or heard many people say, "Lord, hurry back" or "Lord, please come soon." You know, the Lord is waiting for the perfect timing to come and call His children home. There is a lot going on that makes me want to pray those little statements. There are a lot of things going on in Washington D.C. and in the middle east that is unnerving and I find myself praying. I'm not prophesying, but I feel that the Lord will return soon.
James 5:9-12 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
When I see the Lord's face, I want Him to have a countenance that shows me that He is happy with me. I really don't want to have to see Him as an angry judge. Just thinking what that must be like makes me shutter. I'm happy to know that no matter what dumb thing that I do, He is always merciful.
James 5:13-14 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
There are times when I feel that I am at my lowest. When I hit that rock bottom, I need to pray. In fact, I need to be praying while falling and not just when I finally land. When I am at my happiest, I need to let others see it. I need to make sure that I have a joyful countenance and sing. Singing is such a stress reliever for me. I find that when I sing a song I feel even better. That happiness even moves on to others around me. I'm a private person so when there are times of sickness or sadness, I don't let people outside my family know it. I remember once I had some minor surgery right after Jamie was born. No one knew about it except for my immediate family. After being out of church for a week, I was asked where I was the past week. Me, being me, I did not tell them, I just used the "I wasn't able to be here" excuse. It really doesn't hurt to let people know about illnesses and things, so they can help me pray. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
James 5:15-16 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
How much faith do I really have? Do I have enough to go to the Lord when someone is sick physically or spiritually? I like to think I do. I know that I could have more faith. Why would I ask the Lord to do something for me or someone else, when I don't even have enough faith to trust Him? The Lord did say that He would answer our prayers. Verse sixteen is one that many people think differently about. Some think that you are to confess every sin that you have committed to another Christian. Some think that you are to confess a sin that you can't seem to get away from; something that stays in your life. While there is nothing wrong with either, you must be careful with whom you are telling these things to. You really don't want Mrs. Ratchet Jaws who can't keep her mouth shut, knowing every little detail about your life and then sharing it with everyone. Be careful with whom you ask to help pray with you over a matter.
Being able to pray while being close to the Lord is a tremendous thing. I may not be able to do much for someone, but when I'm close to the Lord, I can pray. Prayer is the best thing someone can do for me.
Prayer does not equip you for greater works. Prayer is the greater work. ---- Oswald Chambers
James 5:17-18 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
It's amazing to see what the Lord will do when ordinary people pray.
James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
It is my duty to work at winning lost souls to Christ. It is also my duty to help continue to teach these souls as they grow in the Lord. People can get saved, but they have to be converted. I remember a story a visiting pastor told about a little run down house in a community that was a huge eye sore. The people of the community raised money to purchase the land and house to try and do something positive with it. The day the house was to close, the owner asked the people if they noticed anything different. Well, they did not. The owner was disappointed, he went on to tell them that he had cleaned the inside, made some repairs, and moved around furniture so the new owners would be more comfortable. They community people felt a little remorse, when they told the man that the house was not being used for a family, but for the good of the neighborhood.