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JAMES 5:1-7 (Kent Smith notes 8/6/23)


James 5:1-7




  • Buy time

  • Last Forever

  • Retain value

So, what is the worth of money?


5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.

Miseries, trials and tribulations come on all of us.

Money cannot buy you a pass from the inevitabilities of the passage of time.

5:2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.

Our money and our goods do not last forever.

The Fed destroys about 12 million pounds or paper currency per year! (A Ton of money – 6,000 tons)

When a bill cannot pass through an ATM or vending machine it is likely to be noted the next time it enters a bank.

It is culled by the bank, and eventually turned into the Fed for disposal.

There it is shredded and eventually sold for use in products like particle board, stationary and roofing shingles.

If you tour the Fed building in Washington, you may purchase some shredded currency as a souvenir.

1 Cor 7:31 Paul says: “the form of this world is passing away.”

5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted.

Gold and silver have historically retained their value more than currency and coins of metallic alloys.

In 50 years of inflation our currency has devalued in what it can buy.

You could buy a gallon of gas for 40 cents. A first-class stamp cost only 8 cents. A gallon of milk was $1.40, eggs were 69 cents a dozen, and a package of Oreos was 59 cents. The average cost of a home in 1973 was $32,500, and you could buy a new car for $3,200.

However, wages have increased in that the average salary then was just under $13,000 per year.

What is the worth of money?

It is only worth anything here. (It has no value whatsoever in eternity – where gold is used for surfacing the roads!)

It is only worth what you spend it on. (Nearly all of which will lose value and eventually be destroyed.)

It can be invested in things which make a difference in eternity. (Church, missions, bible translation, gospel tracts, Biblical training)



  • Withholding what has been earned

  • Not paying what is deserved

  • Exploiting others…not rewarding those from whom you have benefitted.


5:4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

God (the Lord of the Sabbath- a day of rest, recovery and peace) hears the cries of those whom we have taken advantage.

The waiter who does not rest on the Sabbath so we can eat out.

Tip well on Sundays if you look like you just came from church.

Thank your servers, perhaps “bless” them.



  • It may distract you from God.

  • It may distort your identity.

  • It may diminish your view of others.

  • It may deliver you into idolatry.


5:5-6 You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure;

You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.



What seems so important now will one day pass away.

Jesus is coming back.


5:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord

How will He judge your stewardship

your generosity,

your use of money and blessings that He has given to you?

How will He judge your thoughtfulness or preoccupation regarding finances?




Our identity ought only to be in Christ!

Money is only a temporary tool in a temporary world for us to use to build His eternal Kingdom for his eternal glory.


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