James 4:13-17 ESV
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Applicable to all of us. Don’t assume your plans will be carried out.
In its context, James is speaking to saved business people. He’s trying to exhort these people towards humility. Remember that everything is the Lord’s, businesses and situations and everything we own. Your life is extremely short. Reprioritize, change your perspective away from acquiring and towards God.
Lookup Matthew 6 – don’t worry about your life, what you’re going to eat, wear…, also the parable of the farmer who built the bigger barn but does before his plans came to fruition.
The goal of any business is to make a profit. Remember that the ultimate goal is to be a blessing. Yes, make a profit but it’s a gift so that you will be a blessing to others. Make as much money as you can, then give away as much as you can.
Christ wasn’t wealthy. He goal was not to make money, it was to build the kingdom. This is our goal.
James 5:1-6 ESV
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
This is directed to a different group of people. They are in the Church, but they’re not saved. They are gathering with the other people but they are not going to be judged well, their sins are not covered by Christ.
James has a very stern warning for them. The evidence of their lack of salvation is the way they are using their wealth. They are cheating their workers.
Luxury and self indulgence – we need to continually check ourselves. Are we living in so much self indulgence that we are unwilling to help others? Does the Holy Spirit convict us of some of our life decisions? Of all the people that have ever lived in the history of the world we are the wealthiest.
Condemning and murdering = oppression. They haven’t received much opposition in this world.