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October 25 – Seeing the emptiness of worldly treasures

You have fattened your hearts in the day of slaughter – James 5:5

Scripture reading: James 5:1-6

James is writing to Christians in this passage with the understanding that within the family of God, some think more of the riches of this world than the riches we have in Christ. James is warning us that if our hearts and minds value the riches and luxuries of this world above what we have in Christ, we, with them, will be burned up in the fires of hell. If we value the riches of this world too much, we will not only turn our hearts from God but will also allow others to be hurt or starve so we can have our riches and luxuries.

James warns us that there is a Judgement Day coming. He compares those who live in luxury and self-indulgence as pigs being fattened up for the day of slaughter: Judgement Day. If we are fattening ourselves up on the luxuries and pleasures of this world, the joy of salvation will not look lovely to us. We are called to set apart Christ in our hearts, living in the joy of our salvation, and always being ready to talk of the hope we have in Christ with great patience, showing care for our neighbours.

May we not let the luxuries and riches of this world control our hearts so that we turn away from the treasure we have as Christians. If we do, James says we will be capable of murdering innocent people in order that we can have our luxuries and pleasures.

Suggestions for prayer

That the joy of salvation would so enrich our hearts and minds that the lustre and beauty of worldly wealth and luxuries will not draw our hearts away from God and His ways.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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