The Word This Week

James 5:1...

For those who know to do good and do not do it, it is sin.

This is how James concluded chapter 4.

Since there were no chapter breaks in the letter as written, we continue immediately into chapter 5 without a break in what the Holy Spirit is presenting.

For example: James continues – those who are rich should weep and howl over how they have handled their God-provided wealth. It has been well-said money makes a great servant but a terrible master. In The Church this must not be so, but apparently it was.

Those who knew how much good they could have been doing with the wealth God provided them were withholding it for their own use or sense of personal security. In this powerful and all-too-common example of NOT doing what God would have you do, and what you know in your heart is right to do, the Holy Spirit brings conviction to those who are not doing what they know they should be doing.

Since The Church is meant to be such a powerful example to the world of how all kinds and classes of people can come together and – as the even the worldly bumper sticker says – “Coexist” - what a shame it is for those who are wealthy to continue to horde their wealth when there is so much apparent good to be accomplished serving God with those riches.

It is doubly shameful when it seems the laborers who are serving those who are wealthy are not being promptly paid for their labors. It is one thing to not share your wealth charitably with others in obvious need, it is even worse to not be paying those their due for what they have done for you. It is the denial of a what is supposed to be a mutually beneficial contract.

Those unpaid wages cry out to the Lord of Sabaoth, (The Lord of Hosts,) and He hears the cries of the down-trodden reapers who are working to put food on the table for their families today.

You should be focused on the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and not the accumulation and maintenance of your earthly fortune.

There is nothing inherently wrong with personal wealth. Many of the great men of the Bible were very wealthy men. The point James is making here is: Where is your focus? A poor man can be just as focused – and perhaps even more so – on money than a rich man is. When you have faith to believe Jesus is at the door, about to come for His Church, what will you be found doing?

Pastor Bill