Friday: Further Study: Weep and Howl
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studymore

Further Study: “Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God’s children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed, and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ.

“Hoarded […]

Thursday: Blame the Victim
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

When someone has done wrong, the natural tendency is to try to escape responsibility. Often people try to do this by transferring the responsibility to someone else-including the person who has been wronged. Murderers excuse themselves by pleading self-defense or blaming their upbringing. By saying they were enticed, sexual abusers blame the victim. Husbands and wives who get divorced typically blame the other for the failed marriage. Those guilty of killing the martyrs of the Christian faith blamed the martyrs […]

Wednesday: Fat and Happy (for Now)
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter (James 5:5, ESV; compare Ezek. 16:49, Amos 4:1). What do these passages link to luxurious indulgence?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

In the ancient world the notion prevailed that there was a fixed amount of wealth, meaning that if the wealth of some people increased, the wealth of others had to decrease. In other words, the rich can get richer […]

Tuesday: Cries of the Poor
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Reading through James, we may notice that several different categories of wealthy people are mentioned, including rich merchants who will be cut down in the midst of their pursuits (James 1:11), business people who sue to protect their investments (James 2:6), and agricultural landholders who have withheld wages from their laborers (James 5:4). These verses describe the rich negatively based on their past behavior, present attitude, and future punishment. These people have essentially heaped up treasure (James 5:3, NKJV) at […]

Monday: When Wealth Becomes Worthless
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Read James 5:2-3. What warning is James giving here? Though his words are quite strong, what kind of wealth is he talking about? What’s the basic message?

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Rotting wealth, moth-eaten clothing, and even silver and gold rusting-these are images for us to consider soberly as our planet spins blissfully on, faster and faster toward its demise.

The world’s economic situation always seems to be going from one crisis to another; even the good times, […]

Sunday: Justice Will Be Done!
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Chapter 5 of James begins with a bang: Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! (James 5:1, NKJV). No doubt, that would have gotten his readers’ attention.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

In James 1:10-11, he reminded the rich of the impermanence of wealth. Here, in chapter 5 , he urges those who stubbornly hold on to it to weep and howl. It is as if their impending judgment is even now […]

Sabbath: Weep and Howl!
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Read for This Week’s Study: James 5:1-6, Ps. 73:3-19, 1 Sam. 25:2-11, Lev. 19:13, Luke 16:19-31, Matt. 5:39.

Memory Text: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).

The worldwide popularity of the television show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? suggests that many people vicariously enjoy the rags-to-riches fantasy and probably hope it could happen to them someday.

But wealth isn’t all that many believe it to be. Studies suggest that increasing income follows the […]

Inside Story: Not-So-Smart Solomon Wises Up
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Dennis Rodrigues

As a teenager Solomon was not so smart. He let his peers influence his decisions and began smoking and taking drugs. He experimented with every drug he could get, and often he grew weak because he was not eating. Drugs were all he cared for.

Solomon and his friends were always together, smoking and taking drugs. They formed a gang and often fought with other teens. Once when he was high on drugs he picked up a machete, ready […]

Friday: Further Study: One Lawgiver and Judge
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studymore

Further Study: Read about the value of time in Ellen G. White, Talents, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 342-346, and share the points that impressed you with your Sabbath School class.

Let no one among you glory any longer against the truth by declaring that this spirit [of discerning the evil motives of others] is a necessary consequence of dealing faithfully with wrongdoers and of standing in defense of the truth. Such wisdom has many admirers, but it is very deceptive and […]

Thursday: Knowing and Doing What Is Good
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Read James 4:15-17 in the context of the verses that come before it. What crucial point is he making here?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

James here is dealing with the attitude of self-dependence. In fact, he calls that attitude arrogance, and the words spoken as boasting; he says it is evil. That’s how important the right attitude is for the Christian.

Read James 4:17. The Bible defines sin in two ways: (1) doing wrong; (2) not doing right. The […]