No Rust: Study Notes on James 5:1-3

Listen all you who are rich, for it’s time to weep and howl over the misery that will overtake you! Your riches lie rotting, your fine clothing eaten by moths, and your gold and silver are corroded as a witness against you. You have hoarded up treasure for the last days but it will become a fire to burn your flesh. James 5:1-3 TPT

This is a stark warning to those who put wealth above God. There is a certain harmony that must accompany possessions and money. Spiritual disciplines like worship and tithing to God and His Kingdom will bring balance. The more I have, the more care that is required. Rust and rot are evidences of neglect. Caring for and sharing the wealth God gives will bring peace and blessing.

Overabundance can become too heavy and burdensome. But when abundance meets a heart devoted to God much beauty pours forth. I have fallen short in being a good steward with the gifts I have been given. There have been seasons when I have experienced the peace of living with margin. I know that being faithful in tithes and offerings is pleasing to God. Why am I so interrupted in church when tithing is mentioned? There is a glimmer of pride and selfishness there. I get caught up in the worldly cycle of consumerism, and I spend too much. Margin is squelched, and life feels like it’s squeezing me. I must rise from the fog and temptation of acquiring new things so I can better care for what I have and give more to those in need.

Lord, Thank You for this warning about money and possessions. I want my heart to be full of good and sparkling things, not rotten and rusted things. Remove envy from my heart. Fill me with the contentment I desire that can only come from You. Give me strength to bear the discipline to live a more balanced life of margin and giving. Help me to slow down and care for the things You have blessed me with: my beautiful life, my gifts, and my people. In Jesus’ name amen.

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