James 4 / Praise the Lord!!

This is a really long passage to post with some mixed commentary, but its something that's been on my heart for a while, so please read.

James 4

"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?" So often our own selfishness gets in the way of our relationships with other Christians. Too often with those that love and care about us the most (and vise versa). Don't look to the problems in others to solve a conflict - examine your own heart. Make sure you are right with God and let Him take care of everyone else.

"You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask." Keep reading - this isn't some magical sentence that gives us a big Santa in the sky. Our heart must be in the right place in order for what we ask to be part of God's plan, not our selfish desires. It is very sad to hear so many Christians take this out of context.

"You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures." Always keep in mind the simple children's acronym - JOY: Jesus, others, you - in that order.

"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." If you find yourself wanting to be more and more like the people you know that don't have God, you're in trouble. We all need to examine our hearts constantly and constantly check our motives for what we want and what we want to do. The more we look like the world the more our hearts change to be like the world. BE CAREFUL!

"Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?" God is a jealous and according to the Bible He always wins. Personally, I would not want to be on the losing side of that battle.

"But He gives a greater grace Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.""

"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom." Repentance. Praise the Lord for his unfailing, always available, forgiveness! When we put ourselves under God's authority and turn away from the lies Satan feeds us, we can such an amazing peace in our lives. God blesses those who obey Him. Resisting the devil is not something we can do on our own. We need God's help. Memorize scripture in areas that you struggle with; read God's Word everyday; pray for His help to resist the temptations you easily succumb to; be careful with what you watch/listen to and make sure it is pleasing to God. It all must be genuine. God will punish those who don't keep their hearts pure before Him.

"Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." As there is punishment/consequences for wrong-doing there are also rewards for right behavior. Not always getting something you want, but blessings.

"Do not speak against one another, brethren He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?" We are never to play God. We are just as sinful as the next person. Who are we to put someone down b/c of their sin when we all sin every day? And our sins don't have levels in God's eyes. My disobedience is just as bad as someone who has committed murder. Don't put yourself on a pedestal and certainly be careful of saying that you would never do something. That is a vulnerable area that Satan is sure to attack. "Guard your heart with all diligence" (Proverbs 4:23)

"Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." Take advantage of every moment God gives you. I am the world's worst procrastinator and am trying to work on that. Make the most of life - I've heard many times, "Live each day like it is your last". If we all did that we would be much more prepared to meet the Lord than most of us are today. (I hope that makes sense)

But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Not much more to add to that. Don't put yourself on a pedestal for anything.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. The Holy Spirit convicts all of us of different things along our walk. Follow the Holy Spirits prompting and only worry about yourself.

I know this ended up being a running commentary, but I hope it was an encouragement to those who read it. God's Word is the best place to go - not man's words.

Have a great day!!