Friday, January 27, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 4:1-5)

Digging Deeper 18 James 4:1-5
 The word of the of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Briefly before we look at this week’s text let me share some thoughts with you concerning this description of God’s Word. First, it is living, Greek word “zao” to be warm as opposed to being cold, dead. Second it is active, it is not the ink and paper God’s Word causes things to happen. Thirdly it is sharp, it is decisive it does not hack way at something trying to conform it, it is the clean cut truth no options. The purpose of the study of the Word of God is not to gain information, we can get that from any book. The Word of God is not really a book at all the piece of leather, paper and ink that we carry and read is a conduit for the living, active, sharp breath of God! And listening to what God has to say will change our lives. Now let’s dig a little deeper.
James 4:1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? James asks a simple question, what is the source of our difficulties getting along with one another? Now this is certainly a rhetorical question, we know that because he goes on to answer it but how would we respond to that question. Would it be? “Because I want it my way”  If we would consider our conflicts quarrels where would we find the source? Most often we would look outside to find the source but the instruction is to see the source as a problem within ourselves.
James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.  Have you ever wanted something so bad in your life but simple there was no way to get it. Not speaking of just materiel things but really just wanting things your way and was willing to fight for it. Than in the midst of that battle somebody else gets what you are so desperately desiring. Envy grabs on and now our lives are in disarray and conflict and quite frankly we just can’t get along. The source of the conflict and quarrels among us is quite often because we are not able to make things be the way we want them to be and the source is from within not from without.
James 4:3-4 You ask and do not receive, because you ask  with the wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. The reason simply put that we don’t get what we want is because are motives are wrong, we want it for the wrong reasons. We want what we want so that we will be pleased. God will always honor a humble heart that comes seeking what God wants in our lives so that our lives please Him. James continues in verse 4 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 and enemy of God. We fuss and quarrel because we are trying to make our way in this world but that is not our purpose, there is no call in God’s Word for us to accomplish anything that befriends the world.
James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: He jealously desires the Spirit which dwells in us? Two passages come to mind: Exodus 20:5 tells us the character of God You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me. And what is the Spirit which He has made dwell in us? Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Where do all the quarrels and conflicts go when we exercise the Spirit that dwells in us not because the world deserves it or because it gives us popularity or power but simply because of our  love for God.

Now that we have dug a little deeper what do we believe?

What do we believe about God? 
1.   God desires our full devotion.
2.   The fruits of the Spirit belong to God for His purpose which is His glory.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   We commit adultery when we befriend the world.
2.   We have the Spirit of God dwelling in us that we can exercise the fruits that bring honor to God.
3.   Our conflicts resolve when we walk in the Spirit with God.

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800

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