WOW! I have read James, and specifically James 4 several times – but slowly going through it again this morning was a heavy and convicting time. It is times like this in the Word that reminds me that it is just as The Lord said, “the Word of God is living and active” – it is a living Word, not a dead word.
I made several notes that I will share here and then post the chapter for you to read below. But first, I found this to be interesting – before I started my study this morning, I wrote this in my notebook:
Pursue Righteousness and Humility – Don’t be a hypocrite
You’ll see why that I found that interesting as we go through James 4 (keeping in mind, I didn’t know what I was studying until I figured out where I left off)
The big take away from James 4 is, “DON’T BE A FRIEND TO OF WORLD”.
The easiest way to identify if you are a friend of the world is if you are focused on your passions – the pleasures of this world. To be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God.
James talks much about passions being (in part) what we desire and can’t have – basically covetousness – our passion for what we have no right to, causes all manner of hostility – not the least of which is enmity with God.
James uses the term “adulterous people” – to commit adultery is to be unfaithful to the one you are married to. Christians are the “bride of Christ” – to love this world, to pursue our passions – to covet the things of this world – is to be unfaithful to God.
We will be less likely to covet, we will be less likely to be unfaithful to God, if we are content. Content with where God has us, and what God has given us at this moment. If we are content we will be less likely to gratify the desires of the flesh.
If I am content and thankful for my house I won’t covet a bigger, nicer one.
If I am content and thankful for my car I won’t need to get a new one every two years.
If I am content and thankful for my job I won’t grumble that I deserve something else.
If I am content and thankful for my spouse I won’t seek to gratify the flesh in other ways.
Covetousness is one of the fruits of the tree of pride. Pride keeps you from seeing your sin. Humble yourself before God, submit yourself to God, resist the devil and all he sets before you.
A double-minded man attempts to pursue his love of the world while pretending he loves God. Cleanse your hands, purify your heart, draw near to God. Recognize your sin and mourn and weep over it. Draw near to God in repentance and faith – and He will draw near to you.
Pursue Righteousness and Humility – Be content –Don’t be a hypocrite
James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
James 4:2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"?
James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
James 4:11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
James 4:12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
James 4:13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"—
James 4:14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
James 4:15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."
James 4:16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.