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Read Introduction to James

 

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!”
 
 
for your miseries that are coming upon you!
The word “miseries” occurs only here and Romans 3:16. This word comes from two words: 1) to undergo, endure and 2) a callus or hardened concretion.  The idea is hardship and distress. If a person is out of fellowship, the more money he has the greater his misery. If a person is in fellowship, money is a detail of life, not the purpose of life. 
1 Ti 6:6-16 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Money in itself never ultimately satisfies us. If we lean on wealth to give us happiness, it will always disappoint us. The Bible nowhere condemns the rich for being rich. Money is not evil in itself but the love of money is evil. 
Many rich Jews lost all their possessions in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. James wrote in A.D. 49. Many lost their families and their lives. Many wept and howled. Riches offer no permanent security. 
PRINCIPLE: 
Abuse of wealth will cause misery to our souls. 
APPLICATION: 
“Eat, drink and be merry” does not last forever for “miseries” will ultimately come upon those who misuse their riches. 
The true capital of the soul is God’s grace. Grace is God’s operating asset for the believer to live each day unto Him. We utilize this capital to live in God’s economy day to day. Each day we live is by God’s mercy. 
We cannot lean on anything external for our spiritual strength; only God Himself can offer His provisions. When we lean on our own strength, we end in misery. “I will find a beautiful woman. I will make a million.” Sex-lust and power-lust cannot put us into a state of inviolability of soul. 
How many times have we acquired something new only to find that the new thing did not give us happiness? No, we are still that same miserable person. When we lean on God’s strength, we end in blessedness. 
God conveys His capital to us through the Word of God (1:15,16,21). God gives His grace provision to those who turn positive volition to His Word. The mature believer utilizes God’s grace on a regular basis. 
2 Co 12:9-10 “And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God is free to give to us in grace because He is satisfied with the death of Jesus Christ for our sins (propitiation). Jesus suffered all that needed to be suffered. He took all of the pain that needed to be paid. God is now free to bless us because of that. However, He will not give His daily operating grace to those who are negative volition to His grace. He cannot give to those who do not have a capacity to receive it. 
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