SERIES: The Church’s Response to a Hurting World
James 5:1-6 NLT
1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.
2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.
3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.
4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
Income is the financial resources you bring in through employment, investments or subsidiaries.
Wealth is the surplus of financial resources you have after you pay your bills.
Your wealth and not your income is a true measure of your well-being.
Wealth protects us from unexpected economic trauma.
Wealth positions us to take advantage of opportunities like buying a house, going to school, or starting a business.
Whites are 60% of the population but control 90% of the wealth.
Blacks are 13% of the population but control 2.6% of the wealth.
It will take 228 years for Blacks to reach the present-day level of White wealth.
By 2053, Blacks will have 0% median wealth.
I. How they got it
The poor are poor because of exploitation and expropriation.
Leviticus 19:23 NLT – When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden. Do not eat it.
Deuteronomy 24:14 NLT – Never take advantage of poor and destitute laborers, whether they are fellow Israelites or foreigners living in your towns.
Jeremiah 23:13 NLT – I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil, for they prophesied in the name of Baal and led my people of Israel into sin.
Proverbs 6:6-8 NLT – 6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
II. How you guard it
2 Corinthians 12:14 NLT – Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children.
Hoarding wealth is:
Luke 12:16-21 NLT – 16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
III. How we give it
The Law of:
Psalm 24:1 NLT – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
1 Chronicles 29:14 NLT – But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!
Matthew 25:34-40 NLT – 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’