OMG guys. After today we’ll only have one chapter left. How do you think it’s gone? Feel free to leave me feedback in the comment section or on the Contact page. Also, if you have any suggestions for other books that we should study let me know!
Topics We’ve Discussed So Far
- Listening and Doing
- Being Guilty
- Faith Without Works
- The Power of the Tongue
- Wisdom and Understanding
- Fighting Among Believers (vs. 1-3)
- James starts this chapter by asking a question and he answers it himself with another. The question he asks first is, “what causes fights and quarrels among you?” He follows up with the question “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” When I was reading this scripture there were two words that jumped out at me: among and within.
- Remember that James wrote this book to believers so when he asks why there are fights and disagreements among you, he’s talking to us Christians. He’s asking us why the church is divided. He’s asking us why can’t we get along. James is asking us why we’re talking about other Christians behind their back or why we’re refusing to be obedient to people that God has placed over us in ministry. Why are there fights AMONG us?
- His is answer is that the fights are caused by the desires that battle within you. So the fights AMONG us come from desires that battle WITHIN us. Desires such as jealousy, pride, envy, and selfishness. It is these things that lead to the breakdown of the church. James gives us some examples of the desires that battle within us. He says that we desire but do not have, so we kill. We covet but cannot get what we want, so we fight.
- James then goes on to tell us that we don’t have the things that we desire simply because we do not ask for it, and if we do, we ask with the wrong motives. Luke 11:9-10 tells us that if we ask it will be given to us and everyone who asks receives.
- Grace & Submission (v. 4-10)
- In this section of the chapter James calls us out for straddling the fence. He says that we are adulterous because we try to be friends with the world and friends of God at the same time. We can no longer straddle the fence or else we become enemies of God. James goes on to say that God is jealous and he is yearning for the spirit that dwells in us to submit to and serve Him and Him alone.
- BUT GOD! I love to see a “but” in scripture. James gets on us for being adulterous and not submitting fully to God and then he says but. “But he gives us more grace.” Does anybody want to have a praise break after that? Despite us not submitting to God fully, he still gives us grace. However, this grace doesn’t come without a price. God gives grace and favor to those who are humble and submit themselves to the Lord. James tells us that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us and if we humble ourselves before him, He will lift us up!
- God’s Will (vs. 13-17)
- James warns us not to boast about things that may happen tomorrow because we don’t truly know what will happen in our lives. I imagine James was a little annoyed with us because 1) he asks what is our life and 2) he says we are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes. Like clearly we know nothing (lol)
- James tells us that instead we ought to say that we will do something if it is the Lord’s will. This reminds me of this Youtuber that I watch. She is a Christian and at the end of every video she says that she’ll see us in her next video God willing. When I first heard her say that I was kind of taken aback, and then I thought about it. Not my will God, but yours. If it is in your will for me to do xyz, then that’s what I will do. If it’s not, then it won’t happen.
- Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you today asking You for the desires of our hearts so that we do not fight among each other for things that can only come from you. We thank you right now for your grace oh Lord and we know that we must humble ourselves and fully submit to you. We know that it is not our will for our lives but it’s yours and we will do what’s in your will for our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
- Discussion (leave a comment below answering these questions):
- Are you straddling the fence? Is there any aspect of your life where you think that you are still trying to be friends with the world and not fully submit to God? What can you do differently going forward?
I’m so glad that you decided to join me in studying the book of James. My prayer is that you have taken something from this, and I hope that you come back to study chapter four with me tomorrow!
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