Managing God’s wealth: James 5:1-6


Good morning church, good to see all of you, hope all of you are doing well, Today we are gonna meditate a very interesting topic James 5, Remember we are going through a book series from James under the theme “Faith in action” and we have come to the last chapter.

Today we shall meditate James 5:1-6.

and I would like to entitle my sermon as “Managing God’s wealth”

What does it mean managing God’s wealth? well….

Life is a gift from God, our talent our skill, everything we got belong to God, our possession, your money, your wealth, your property, your job, your business, all belong to God. how we manage them matters to God.

Colossians 1:16

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him.

God want us to be a good manager of our own life, He want us to take good care of everything He has given us,

everything He has bless us, and we know

Someday we will give account to God for the life we have lived.

Today we shall meditate on just one part, that is “Managing God’s wealth” this is very important subject, you know out of 29 Jesus parable 13 parables are talking about money.

There are over 700 direct references to money in the Bible. Why is money such a popular subject in the Bible?

Because money is a window into the heart.

How we handle money exposes the values and priorities of our hearts.

Today many people wrongly believe that the Bible teaches that it’s wrong to be wealthy. They think that the Bible says: “Money is the root of all evil”.

But Bible does not teach this. What Bible says is: 1 Tim 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

God is not opposed to wealth. In fact, many people in the Bible were extremely wealthy.

Abraham was probably a millionaire if it was valued according to today’s standards.

David and Solomon were both wealthy men of their time. Job was also wealthy and the list could go on and on.

It is not wealth that is evil.

Look at First Timothy again, “The love of money”. You see that is where the real problem arises. It is the misuse of money, the love of money that causes all kinds of problems.

James lashes out at the wrong use of money by the wealthy.

He gives a rebuke probably one of the most negative passages in the Bible against the misuse of money.

He looks at 3 specific areas we need to be aware of when it comes to money. James gives his listeners a healthy warning of how they should handle their wealth. In other words – How to be Wise with Money.

Let’s look how God wants us to handle our money in three areas:

  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.

3Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.

  • For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
  • You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.
  • You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
  1. Don’t treasure greedily but manage wisely. (1-3)
  2. Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.
  3. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.

3Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.

In the first century Middle Eastern culture, wealth was measured in three ways: grain, garments and gold.

The rich had so much food that it was rotting in their barns.

They had a lot of fancy clothing that was filled with holes caused by moths. And their gold and silver, the most durable forms of wealth, had lost its luster because it was hidden under piles of other stuff that they had too much of.

James tells the wealthy that they better get ready to weep and wail, not because they had money but because they hoarded (accumulate) it and took advantage of those who had less.

Wealth is not the problem; the misuse of it is.

Even in our present days many people save their wealth in many forms,

In other words, what you have stored away believing it to be good and something you can rely upon to save you at a future time.

All of that is useless and will leave you helpless.

He was telling these rich people that they could NOT rely upon their wealth for sustenance or for shelter clothing.

They could not take shelter from this world or from their sin in their wealth. It would fail them in the end.

James’s attention is on the day of God’s judgment against these wealthy oppressors. The misuse of their gold and silver will testify against them.

Instead of using their stockpiles of precious metals to help the poor, they just hoarded the money until it began to waste away.

When God rules against them, their own flesh will be eaten away by fire in the same way the corrosion has eaten away their gold and silver.

Without doubt, this is a harsh and cutting pronouncement. James offers no grace from God for these unrepentant unbelievers.

They will be condemned for their greed and selfishness. They are guilty of laying up earthly treasure for themselves in the last days instead of spending it to help those in need.

James echoes Jesus’ own teaching:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

In Luke 12:13-21,

Jesus narrates the Parable of the Rich Fool

  1. Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
  2. Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
  3. Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
  1. And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.
  2. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
  3. “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.
  4. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
  5. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
  6. “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.

Everyone around the world is so busy with their life, running for money, when we see Mumbai city, it is always busy, people rush to office, business place, working so hard to earn money for living,

But money should not become our heart idol,

Lets us always remember that we are here in this world for temporary, we will take nothing out of this world, rather

We should focus on what God want us to do with our life and with our wealth and money.

1 Tim 6:17-19.

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they

will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

How do I Manage my wealth wisely

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what He cannot lose. Jim Elliot (missionary to AUCA) @ 28 he was killed by Auca tribe in south America.

Giving up everything it can be money, time, life, family for God’s great work, for His glory.

I think what Jim elliot says is the “wise management”

If we are misusing our wealth we should come to Jesus like Zeccchaius, the tax collector, if i have taken which i am not suppose I will pay back double. because of his sincere repentance Jesus forgive him.


Church how are you managing your money or wealth God has given you? Are you investing your wealth on earth or

Investing your treasures in Heaven? We should be wise church.

We should not be like heathens who invest possessions in this world.

Colossians 3:1-3 says.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

  • Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
  • For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

2.       Don’t cheat anyone, but manage with integrity. (4)

  • For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Here, James charges these abusive rich men not just with neglect and selfishness, but with outright fraud. These wealthy businessmen cheated their own employees out of the wages they had earned working in the fields.

In the Old Testament Law, employers were commanded to pay their laborers at the end of the work day, because the workers needed the money and they might cry out to the Lord if cheated by their employer (Deuteronomy 24:15).

James describes the unpaid money itself as crying out against the oppressive landowners, along with the voices of the workers.

The landowners should be sure of this: Those voices have reached the Lord of Hosts. That name, “Lord of Hosts”, is one often used throughout Scripture in association with God’s judgment.

The Lord commands powerful armies, and He is coming for you, James is saying.

Church lets be careful if we cheat people we will be without excuse, God is looking down He sees, knows all things.

How people cheat each other this days. (my first job was cheating job)

It was a scam company, I work there for more than a year, I was innocent at first but at the end I came to know that it was scam company.

Everyday I have to dial around 400 people every night, I usually talk to 200 people. We sale a product which does not exist.

At the end of the work i feel guilty of cheating and lying many people, charging their credit card with the products that will never reach them.

at last i was so guilty and depressed i give up and repent of my sins. This scam things are going on all over the world.

We also see fraud in many private and public sectors.

Demanding money for job,

My wife Phila was asked 7 lakh for nurse job in Manipur, we denied coz we don’t believe in fraud.

Cheating can be in many ways

Betraying someone, not keeping promises, false promises, unfaithful to spouse. unfaithful to friends and family, unfaithful at work, unfaithful to God.


Judas was cashier among the twelve, he cheat and work without integrity at the end he felt in sin and end up his life is misery.

As Christians, we know that the Bible has many warnings against the dangers of pursuing wealth. In 1 Timothy 6:9-10, the apostle Paul warns,

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

“Doom to him who builds palaces but bullies people, who makes a fine house but destroys lives, Who cheats his workers and won’t pay them for their work.” Jeremiah 22:13 (MSG)

When we look the live of Joseph in OT ….

Illustration: Joseph was an excellent manger with integrity.

Doing the right things even when no one is watching that is integrity.

He was the incharge of potiphar house he manage with integrity, he did the right things even no one was watching, His faith and integrity was tested many times, but His faith and his integrity didn’t change as a result God raise him higher and higher in his position at the end he was next to his king Pharaoh in Egypt.

Application: Remember church

Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old nature with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new nature, which is being renewed in full knowledge, consistent with the image of the one who created it.

Proverbs 10:9 People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.

3.        Don’t live selfishly but share generously. (5-6)

  • You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.
  • You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

The way we spend our money is very important. James tells his readers that they are spending their money in a wrong way.

“You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” James 5:5

We are not to waste our wealth. We are not to be overly self indulgent.

The more money you make the easier it is to waste it. We tend to say, “I deserve it. I’m worth it       I might as well enjoy myself.”

Just because you can afford something does not mean you should buy it. The Bible tells us not to waste our money.

There are millions of ways to spend and squander your money on yourself. But we should always ask, Is that pleasing to God?

The Bible tells us that we are to spend our money wisely. We are to plan how we spend our money. Look at what it says in Proverbs:

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

The Bible clearly teaches that God is concerned with how we get our money, How we save our money and how we spend our money.

God is concerned with every aspect of our lives and that includes our finances. Are you using them in a way that is pleasing to God?

Are you including God in your financial planning?

He wants to be the center of your life and that includes how you handle your money.

Place God at the center of your life. Make Him Lord of your life. Ask Him to be the center of all that you do to include your finances.

Sharing generously-

Illustration: one of the example is first century believers.

They have deep love for one another, they share whatever they have, they take care of one another, Some even sale their property and use it for God’s ministry.

We need to remember the faith of first century believers and follow their exemplary life, they know all their belongings are from God, and they use it for God glory, we have to learn their generosity and glorify God with our resources God has bless us.

Conclusion: Remember church

We are created in God beautiful image, we are created to worship Him, to serve Him, to live this life for him.

We know because of our sins we were living without hope, we were dead in our sins, we were slave to sin.

But because of God great mercy and great loves, He send His only son to die for our sin, to redeem us from slavery of sins, as we repent our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord and saviour,

He purchased us from eternal condemnation, from slavery of sins and gave us new life.

2 Cor. 5:17 says.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

We are new creation in christ.

1 Cor 6:19-20.

  1. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
  2. you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Cor 10:31.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Church our life, our wealth, our possession, our everything belongs to Christ. We are here to serve Him, to live for His glory.

Lets use our finance, our wealth wisely for His glory.

  1. let us not treasure greedily but manage wisely. (1-3)
  2. Let not cheat anyone, but manage everything with integrity. (4)
  3. Lets not live selfishly but share generously to all people. (5-6)

May God grant heavenly wisdom to all of you, may God’s name be glorify in your financial life.

May you be the light and salt to the people around you.

May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine on you and give you peace. Amen

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