October 4, 2018

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James 5:1-6

It is easy to read Scripture with a finger pointed at the Pharisees and Sadducees who were most likely the targets of this passage. However, Ana Swanson for the Washington Post looked at global wealth in 2016 and discovered these statistics:

To be among the wealthiest half of the world last year (2015), an adult needed to own only $3,210 in net assets (minus debts), according to the data. To be in the top 10 percent, a person needed to have only $68,800 in wealth. To be in the top percentile, the threshold climbed to $760,000, according to Credit Suisse.

Given this perspective, it is “we” not “they” who are rich. The median household income of a Lewisville resident is $58,559. The median household income of a Flower Mound resident jumps to $121,549 a year. That means we are all most likely near the top 10% of wealth in the world. What are we doing with that wealth? Are we focused on our next big purchase, or that friend who needs help? Are we generous whenever we can be or do we withhold out of fear of losing what we have? In Leviticus 23:22, God commands the Israelites to leave the borders of their land unharvested so the poor and foreigners might glean from them. What have you been given by God that can benefit others? Perhaps it is not monetary help, but your time or your talents that are needed. As believers, we have what all people need—knowledge of the salvation of the Lord. Are we keeping it all to ourselves or pursuing others with the gospel?

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