Listen to today’s devo!

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. (James 5:1)

Expanded Passage: James 5:1

Lightning and open water can be a disastrous combination. I live near a large lake, and when a thunderstorm has been spotted, the local emergency warning system kicks in. There is a siren and then a booming voice that shouts across the lake. It warns boaters and fishermen to come ashore and take shelter immediately. Across town from the lake, I can hear the siren, but the message is muffled by endless echoes. Not to worry, I can ignore the warning since it is not meant for me, right?

We may have a similar reaction reading James 5:1. We stop listening when it mentions rich people. We immediately think the messages that follow are meant for somebody else.

Our bank accounts are thin, and we have loans to pay off. We identify as have-nots, not the haves. But if we are honest, we are all probably in another group called the “want-mores.” James wasn’t writing to people who were rich like Caesar, but neither was he writing to people who were as poor as Lazarus. He’s addressing the want-mores. People like us.

When tempted to apply scriptural warnings to the other guy, remember that 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is useful for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Selective hearing is risky when it comes to God’s Word. Scripture is meant for you!

Read God’s Word as his personal communication.

Calvin Wylie is a retired federal employee. He is the son of a Wesleyan pastor and evangelist. Calvin and his wife, Tammy, live in Clemson, South Carolina.

© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.