Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 25, 2021

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.” – “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Today’s devotion comes from James 5:1-6.

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.  2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.  3 Your gold and your silver have rusted;  and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire.  It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!  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.  5 You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure;  you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.  6 You have condemned and put to death the righteous man;  he does not resist you.”  James 5:1-6.


It is bad to set your mind on things on earth rather than on things above.  See Colossians 3:6.  See verse 5.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.  Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry.  Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”  Luke 6:24-25.

“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.”  1 Timothy 6:10.

“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:21.

But, it is worse to do so and, in addition, do injustice to the poor at the same time.  See verses 4 and 6.

But, there is hope!

Our hope is not based on our alleged free-will.  We love to do the bad things and worse things in our natural condition of “Total Depravity”.

Our hope is based on God’s will in giving us, His elect, “Irresistible Grace”.  

Consider the following in the Canons of Dordt in the section titled THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof. 

Article 11.  But when God accomplishes his good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illumines their minds by his Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God;  but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man;  he opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, he quickens;  from being evil, disobedient and refractory, he renders it good, obedient, and pliable;  actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.

God uses the means of His Spirit and His Word (the Bible), including good preaching and teaching, worship services, sacraments, discipline, and other means to wean us from things on earth and to attach us to things above.  We should seek to use those means and not neglect them.  

“It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  John 6:53.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:22-24. 

“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD:  “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from now and forever.”  Isaiah 59:21.


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