“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Come now, you rich [people], weep aloud and lament over the miseries (the woes) that are surely coming upon you. 2 Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined, and your [many] garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are completely rusted through, and their rust will be testimony against you and it will devour your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped together treasure for the last days. 4[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5[Here] on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to [the pleasures of] self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and have murdered the righteous (innocent man), [while] he offers no resistance to you. James 5:1-6 AMP
It is not a sin to be rich, neither is it holy to be poor. The Bible shows us that all of God’s obedient covenant friends were blessed beyond measure – for instance, Genesis 13:2 AMP says that “Abram was extremely rich in livestock and in silver and in gold” – God promises to bless all of His children, who obey His Word. God made Abraham rich – not man and not Abraham himself. It is not wealth that ruins people’s lives – it is covetousness. You are covetous when you trust in your wealth and possessions more than you trust in God and if you find it difficult or impossible to give them away.
God has a great plan for the peoples of the earth – His will is that every person would hear and know what He has done for them and that they would be delivered from sin and from hell and that they would receive eternal life. Every person who hears and receives the Gospel and who has been transformed by the saving grace and the blood of Jesus Christ has a godly responsibility to share this great news with the world.
If you are a Christian then you have God’s heart – or you should. You are part of the family – you have the privileges and the responsibilities of a family member. The Lord promises that if you lend to the poor He will repay you and if you bless the ministry, then God will overtake you with blessings. You have to realize that God blesses you in order to make you a blessing and when you are a blessing, He blesses you some more! He is unwilling to abandon or to do without a cheerful, generous, prompt-to-do-it giver!
It is not angels who bring money and provision to God’s laborers on a daily basis – that is not their function – that is our function – you and me. The devil is not going to fund the gospel! The world is not going to build God’s kingdom! You represent God and if you don’t do your part, if you don’t do the right thing – the kingdom of God will suffer! You are God’s arm on the earth to bring relief, blessing and sustenance, on God’s behalf, everywhere you go. If you do not use your resources to fund the preaching of the gospel then who will? God does not have anybody else but you and me.
Ministers – you are commissioned to obey God and His Word and to be faithful with your call, your anointing and everything else that God has placed in your hands, including money!
Christian business people – You are called to support those who preach the Gospel! You are commissioned to be faithful with the call that is on your life and with the financial resources that God has placed in your hands! You have a holy obligation to share the blessing of the Lord with those who work in the harvest fields. God does not even call it a gift – He calls it “wages” as if it is owed as payment for work done.
Don’t think that those who are called to ministry are the only ones who have to give an account for how they use their money and their time – you will have an opportunity to give an account to God for how you used your money and your time as well! Always remember that any wealth that you give into the kingdom of God is stored away, incorruptible and immovable for your eternity. However, any wealth that you store up here on earth is subject to the elements – it could get moth-eaten, rusted, corroded, ruined and wasted.
Your wealth will be a testimony for or against you. The wealth you give to God and to the preaching of the Gospel and to the building of God’s kingdom on the earth will testify in Heaven of your trust in God and your love for Him, your obedience and your faithfulness and you will be rewarded. The wealth you wasted, the wealth you trusted in and held onto and stored up here on earth will testify against you. It testifies of your rebellion, selfishness, fear, covetousness and unfaithfulness and you will lose out on all the rewards that could have been yours.
It is not a sin to be rich, but it is a sin to be covetous and selfish. If you would make it your responsibility to share your wealth with those who labor in the harvest fields, then God will see to it that you are richly rewarded here on the earth and also in Heaven.