There is a right way to live.
While it might be painful, it really isn't difficult.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
James 4:1-2a, 7-12
One sentence reviews of 101, 102, and 103.
101. Faith and deeds/works must match up.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
102. The church is not to be divided. God wants to use us all.
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
103. God reminds us to get along with each other.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
104. We are to get along with each other in the church.
James makes this simple to understand.
Verse 1. James asks the church/God’s children, “What causes fights/quarrels?”
Verse 1b-2a. James answers, “[our] desires, coveting, and pride.”
Verse 7. Humility—part of Christ’s life—and submission to God and others are the salt and light of our Christian experience.
Verse 11. Our speech reflects our heart. If we have humility and submission in our lives, our words become different.
Underlying Jesus’ message are these:
- If you can’t say something nice, say nothing.
- It’s not mine. It’s ours.
- Don’t throw rocks. Take turns with things we share.
We need to love in such a way that people notice the difference between our actions and those of non-Christians.
God uses changed people!
Thanks to Dr. Scott Peterson for the basic teachings in this post.
Next Timeless Truths: Baccalaureate Address. Does God Give Make-up Tests?
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