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James 5:1-6, The Inevitable Disappointment of Wealth

Key Verse

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you.
— James 5:1-6

RCL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, October 1, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

According to Martin Luther, the 16th Century reformer, the Epistle of James didn’t have a whole lot to say. In fact, if it had been up to Luther, he might have tossed out the epistle from the canon of scripture.

Lots of that has to do with Luther’s fixation on the whole work-vs-gift-of-faith thing, but scripture in all its forms usually has something to say about the human condition. Today’s daily reading from the RCL is no exception. The topic? Money and the inevitability of disappointment.

I think religious folk forget how often scripture criticizes the pursuit of wealth. Looking at some mega-church buildings, one has to wonder what people think they’re doing in today’s world.

Yet, I take today’s harsh reading not so much as a moralization, but rather as a warning that everyone, rich and poor, would do well to heed. The fact is that all the world’s “real success” we strive for simply isn’t what lasts in eternity. That message is worth thinking about at least.

God, guide my heart to use money for good rather than seeing it as an end in itself. Amen.


Finish devotion with short prayer written in the first person or a thoughtful question for your readers.


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James 5:1-6

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Earlier Event: September 30
Revelation 3:14-22, Neither Hot Nor Cold