• Turn your trials into triumphs
• Defeat sin and temptation
• Be doer and not simply a hearer of the word
• Reign in your tongues
• Looks after the widow, the orphan and the less fortunate
• Updates your favorites list (and welcoming all no matter who they are, where they’ve been, what they look like or struggle with) to come and sit with us at the feet of Jesus
And here we go again in James 4 -- James doesn't pull any punches. He is talking to Believers and he is brutally honest:
"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 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. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures." James 4:1-3
Don't watch the news all the time. Find out what is going on and then don't watch at all the rest of the day. Only turning to God is going to heal this country. If we can't overcome all this with love we are not doing things God's way. We live in a two-minded society. God's way or the world's way.
"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." James 4:4
"You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!" Ezekiel 16:32
"For he who is not against us is for us." Mark 9:40
We are with God or against God.
"Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “[e]He [f]jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?" James 4:5
God is jealous over his relationship with us. He loves us. He wants the best for us. When we choose to live apart from Him or do things the world's way we are putting a wedge between us and Him and we are choosing something that will harm us. He is jealous in that He wants to keep us from harm and wants to be in relationship with us. We can't have the world and have Jesus. One or the other.
"He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
When we attack each other (as our whole country seems to be doing) we do it in pride. We can't hear or see the other person as a person. We just want to be right.
James 4:6 is the gospel in a minature.
"The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." Romans 5:20
"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7
"And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" Luke 9:23
We do this every day. No time off. It is a way of life. Deny self. Turn to Jesus and follow Him. God is right with us. Nothing or no one can overcome us with God on our side. Choose to live for God intentionally.
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8
Clean up your act Believer. You know better (is what he is saying). And we do....
11 Likewise, whomever the one with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.
13 ‘Now when the man with the discharge becomes cleansed from his discharge, then he shall count off for himself seven days for his cleansing; he shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in [a]running water and will become clean
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O Lord
18 “You shall also make a laver of [a]bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; 20 when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to the Lord.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul [a]to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
"Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." James 4:9-10
"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. 12 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?" James 4:11-12
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and [a]by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Matthew 7:1-3
"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.” 14 [g]Yet you do not know [h]what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 [i]Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your [j]arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the [k]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:13-17
1. Be honest with yourself
2. Be honest with God
3. Pray for our country.
4. Pray especially for those people you disagree with.