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I know this is not going to be the most popular article I have written. During the holiday season as I looked at my table and saw so much I thought of all the people who did not have what I had. Even though I am not a rich man in terms of worldly things, I am rich in heavenly things – and that is much better.
Now let’s take a look at what the bible says about the poor and the rich.
James 2:5-7 – Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
In reading James this morning, I really meditated on it before I got out of bed because I was very familiar with this book. The question came to me: do I do enough for the poor people? The answer to this question was very simple: no. I made a promise to God that I will do more in the coming year.
During a tax hearing I heard a woman tell fiscal court she worked for minimum wage and upset that the county was going to take five dollars a week out of her check for taxes. Five dollars a week quickly adds up to $260 a year.
When the county and the city were poised to impose new occupational taxes, I tried to get them to exempt the people who worked for so little. A lot of people did not agree with me at the time. They thought everyone should pay their part regardless of how much they earned serving lunch to our children at school or taking care of our loved ones at the nursing home.
It makes me believe that they pay everyday.
Now look at James 5:1-6 – Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
As we read this, we are told we must take care of the poor or hell fire is waiting for us. There are many churches throughout the country, that do very little for the poor. I believe the reason is they have so many on the payroll there is very little left for the poor. What a sad thing this is.