Bro. David's Weekly Word
February 11, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart
We now come to the final chapter, chapter 5 as we pick up where we left off last time together. James just finished talking about wicked saints and now in chapter 5 he now is going to address wealthy sinners. Here are some people who were becoming wealthy by crooked means. They were so committed to making money they didn't have time for God or for the things of God.
I've seen more people ruined by prosperity than by adversity. Now I can hear some of you thinking, “Well this message is certainly not for me. I'm not wealthy.” Oh, is that so? Learn this: every message from God's Word may not be about you but every message from God's Word is for you!
You may not have $50,000.00 in your bank account, but every word found in this book was written with you in mind. We're told in 2 Timothy 3.15 that “all scripture is profitable.” It's not a question of having money; it's a question of what you're doing with your money.
Two men were talking about money. One said, “You know, it's true, money does talk.” His friend said, “It sure does. And all it ever says to me is good-bye.”
Money does talk and that's what I want to talk to you about in our time remaining. Let's begin reading in James 5.1-6:
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.”
We read here about some people who were accumulating and spending money with no thought of man or God and in verse 1 - 3 we saw THEIR MISERY IS REVEALED and today we see THEIR MOTIVE is REBUKED starting in verse 4 - 6.
James is still describing for us a first century wheeler-dealer. Not only did they make their plans with no thought of God, they made their profits with no thought of man. And these businessmen learned the hard way that when you get money from ungodly, illegal ways sooner or later that same money that you thought would bring satisfaction will eventually bring sorrow!
The love of money will cause a man to forget about his love for God. It's true money talks! How you get it and how you use it say a lot about you! And we need to learn that God doesn't give it to simply store it up but rather to spread it out!
Plain and simple: God wants His wealth in circulation. Now, does that mean we're not to save or invest for retirement or plan for the future? No, of course not! In fact, you better be financially planning for the future. But it does mean that if you're just hoarding all your wealth rather than helping with your wealth, you will give an account to God. What good is wealth if it's not used? Ecc 5.13, “There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun; riches kept for their owner to his hurt.” God doesn't give you wealth for self and self alone but for the good of mankind. You put it down: money that isn't used corrupts and ruins.
James showed us Their MISERY is REVEALED last week and this week he will show us Their MOTIVE is REBUKED. Vv. 4-6, “Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.”
You won't find in the Bible a single verse that speaks against acquiring wealth by work and legal ways. But here is a man who sent his workers into the fields to harvest the crops and never intended to pay them for the work. From the start he never intended to pay his employees for their labor.
Lev 19.13, “You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.” In Luke 10.7 Jesus said, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
What he's talking about not only applies to the employer, but to the employee. Suppose you get paid a salary to work 8 hours a day and you show up 15 minutes late everyday you take an extra 5 minutes during your break time and you sit at your desk reading a novel and doing your nails and then leave 15 minutes early.
Rather than putting in your 8 hours that you're getting paid for you've only put in about 6 hours. You're just as guilty of robbery as the man who refused to pay the wage. You might as well be taking money out of the petty-cash box.
Don't think for a second that God is going to forget what happens down here on earth. In fact, James tells us some things about our money. In Verse 3,our wealth will testify. “Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you ...” What a paradox; the rich save their wealth to help them, but in the end that same wealth will testify against them. Wealth unused is wasted wealth.
Also ourwages will testify. Verse 4, “Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.” Those stolen salaries that you never paid will cry out to God for justice and judgment.
Lastly James shows us our workers will testify. Those stolen salaries that you never paid will cry out to God for justice and judgment.
“...and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.” (v. 4)
Now what can we take home from these verses. Let me give you 3 take home truths that we can apply to our lives.
1. It's not a sin to be rich. Gen 13.2, “Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.” 1 Chron 29.28 says that David,“died at a good old age, having enjoyed long live, wealth and honor.” Barnabas was a wealthy land owner. King Solomon had more wealth than Abraham and David put together. It's not a sin to have wealth. Sin comes when the wealth posses you. Don't misquote the Bible; the Bible doesn't say that money is the root of all evil. It says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” It's greed, not gold, where the problem is.
2. Be wise with what you have. It will be a great day when you realize that you don't own anything, but that you are a steward or manager over what God has given to you. He gave it and He can take it away because it's all His!
Take what God's given you and USE IT for the building of His kingdom and His church! Not to store it up, but to spread it out! Don't wait until you die to give it; give it while you're still alive so that you can see what God does with it.
3. Beware of the god called materialism. You may never have the assets of the rich but you can certainly have their attitude.
It begins with a “want to”, then a “got to” and then an “I'll get it, whatever it takes.” One way that I have found to avoid materialism is by giving.
It's true money talks. What does it say about you? Jesus said in Matt 6.21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If you want to know what's important to you, you won't find it on your prayer list, you'll find it on the stubs of your checkbook.
So what is your money saying about you? Is it saying, “GET ME any way you can”? “Cheat, steal, lie, and work when you ought to be spending time with your family, but GET Me!”
Is it saying “GUARD ME, hold me tight and don't let me go”? Is it saying “SPEND ME on yourself and no one else”? Or is it saying “GIVE ME away to others in service for Jesus.” “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Upcoming Events at Aspen Park:
February 14 - Sunday School Conference lead by Bob Mayfield
February 21 - Women’s Bible Study Starts at 5:00 pm
March 6 - Start of Annie Armstrong Season of Prayer for home missions
March 27 - Easter Celebration at Aspen Park
April 8 - 10 - Youth DNOW Weekend.
April 17 - Aspen Park Community Festival Block Party
April 23 - Women’s Ministry conference at the church
Sunday School Conference:
Our Sunday School conference will be Sunday, February 14th. This time together will be for all Sunday School teachers and those interested in supporting Sunday School growth. Our guest speaker for the morning service and the conference will be Bob Mayfield from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Be sure to attend on for this very informative time.
Ladies Bible Study-New Study Begins February 21st
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Ladies, you won't want to miss this Bible Study. It applies to all women, regardless of age, stage of life or any other way we might categorize ourselves.
Books are $13 and will be available at the study. Scholarships are available and confidential. The cost of a book should never keep you away from a Bible study!
They will meet at the north end of the education building, close to the preschool area.
Dates: February 21, February 28, March 6, March 20, April 3, April 10 & April 24
Kids Kamp - June 13 - 16:
Kids Kamp enrollment is open for grades 3-6. The cost is $100. We have reserved 12 spots and once they are taken, enrollment will be closed. Enrollment packets will be available in the lobby of the Worship Center. You must return your packet and a $20 non-refundable deposit to the office. The deadline is Sunday, February 21st. Please call the office if you have any questions.
Word of the Week:
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matt 6.21
Thank you for being such a loving and faithful people. I look forward to seeing each of you in Bible Study and Worship. Please plan on being here and invite friends and family to come with you.
Blessed to be your pastor,