Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010

"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 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. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you." James 5:1-6
A wise person once told me that the way to check a person's priorities is to look at his check book and his date book. Where you spend your time and your money is very revealing as to where your heart is.
Therefore, it is not surprising that James deals with these two topics together. Granted, the verses are contained in different chapters but when they were written there were not these divisions.
As we already studied, you must be humble in your attitude toward time. You must understand the sovereignty of God, the Beginning and the End. Even though God stands above and beyond time, He controls it. He has numbered our days individually and He has numbered the days of man upon the earth. He spoke the world into existence and by His word it will end. That is the truth. It is a fact that must guide your attitude toward planning and time. James said you must plan your life in view of eternity and an eternal God.
So, if your heart is right your priorities will be right and your datebook will show it.
That same attitude must be reflected in your finances. Not only is God the Author of time He is the Giver of all good things. Jesus was clear in His teachings either God will be the Master of you money or your money will master you.
Because of the way we are wired we struggle with insecurity about the future and one strong source of sercurity is money and material wealth. Of course, when you obtain the money and material wealth then you have a whole new set of worries because you have to protect it and try to increase it. So, in the final analysis how much security is there REALLY in having money? That is the point of what James is teaching here in 5:1-6. He is acknowledging some of the negative issues that arise when your trust and confidence is based in materialism.
Jesus teaches more about money than He does any other single topic - more than about salvation and more than about heaven! Why, because He wants us to get our heart before our Source!
How much money will you have when you life on earth ends? If you die before you get your heart right with God, how much of your money would you be willing to give to get right with Him? With those questions in mind, what should your attitude be toward your money and your God?
If you knew that this was the last week you would spend on earth, how would your schedule change? What would you do differently? What would you NOT do? Who would you spend more time with? What would you give up?
A good way to do a quick and revealing spiritual evaluation is to check your date book - where are you spending your time? AND check your check book. How are you spending your money? Will you make some time this week to do that?