To resolve conflicts and worldliness, will I submit to God?
Are you in conflict with man? Why? What is the source of our conflicts? This is what we want to concentrate on. Just turn on the news and what do you see and hear? Why is there so much incredible hatred and dissension? Why is it so difficult to get along with others? Oh, tighten your seat belts because this Chapter is going to take you on a heck of a ride as James sets before us another self examination.
To understand conflicts, we have to ask ourselves, “What is our aim in life?” This is the next test of genuine faith. Is it to submit to the will of God, or is it to fulfill our desires for the pleasures of this world?
James warns that to be consumed with the pleasures of this world will bring us nothing but conflict. Get this you all, the root cause of conflict is ‘desire’. That has made me stop dead in my tracks and contemplate every time I have been in conflict with others, was it because my focus was on ‘me‘, on ‘my‘ selfish desires?
Think about it, when men and women are all striving to posses the same things, power, prestige, recognition, money, worldly possessions, satisfying bodily lusts – then inevitably life becomes a competitive arena, which then leads to jealousy, envy, hatred and strife. God wants us to understand when men and women are slaves to their selfish desires then their lives are spent in malice, hatred, and envy, (Tit 3:3). Join me as we focus on the ultimate choice in life – living to please ourselves, or living to please God. What are you truly living for?
We finished LOOKING at Chapter 3, about the kind of wisdom we display.
How did you respond to the Spirit as He spoke to you?
Our journey has us digging in deep to LOOK at Chapter 4, focusing on the another test to prove our faith, and that is what one’s attitude is toward the world and God.
Again with a two-fold objective. We want to:
1. LOOK at the truths in James to answer the LEARN and LIVE questions.
The Big Picture of the Book of James
Do you remember the when we first began this journey, we looked at the Big Picture?
Why Did James Write This Letter?
Check out the Overview in GODcha if you can’t remember.
What was James’ emphasis?
This series of tests that James gives is to:
Show us how to live our faith; and
Uncover a false faith, and
Turn men and women from the error of their ways.
Do you know anyone who has strayed from the truth?
Don’t you want to save their soul from death?
Before We Begin,
OH LORD, we hunger for Your Word of Truth and do desire to understand it in order to live it and know the fullness of blessing and bring You honor in Your Son’s name. Thank you.
Let GODcha lead the way!
Go to the LEARN/LIVE Section
Open the Deeper Discovery
Scroll to the #12 LEARN/LIVE Questions
#12 Ch 4 Consider context: Ch 3, the 2 wisdoms. As you look at this next test of faith, what are the 3 conflicts of being a friend of the world, CR? (v1-5)
a. Am I in conflict (at home, work, school) with those who are friends of God?
b. Am I in conflict within? What pleasures are waging war within me?
c. What am I asking for? What are my motives?
d. Am I an adulteress, an enemy of God, in hostility (conflict) with God?
e. Am I so foolish to think Scripture speaks to no purpose, thus rejecting God’s grace?
After reading the #12 questions, what do you see you need to concentrate on to help you stay focused?
Let’s LOOK at What God Says About
Open the LOOK Section
Where is the best place to begin?
Always Begin LOOKING
Read the 1st paragraph, James 4:1-10, asking the 5W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how) questions to see what God says.
The only way to learn this critical skill – is to do it.
Give it your best shot and then come back for help.
Remember to focus on the nouns and verbs.
How did you do?
Let’s Break This Paragraph into a Smaller Bite.
Why don’t we read just verses 1-5 together?
Before we read,
What is the CONTEXT?
Remember CONTEXT RULES INTERPRETATION!
THINK: In Chapter 3, James just finished contrasting the wisdom that is not from God which results in disorder, with the wisdom from God that results in peace.
And now . . .
What does James ask?
1 What is the WHAT?
What is the source
(THINK: Remember what the result of worldly wisdom is back in Ch. 3?)
WHAT is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?
Is not the source
that wage war
in your members?
(THINK: Remember what you learned about lust in Ch.1? What does lust lead to?)
You do not have;
WHAT is the result?
so you commit murder.
(THINK: Do those of the faith commit murder?)
You are WHAT?
(THINK: Remember what you learned about envious in Ch. 3? It is the root of what?)
WHAT is the result?
so you fight
do not have
WHY do you not have?
because you do not ask.
(THINK: Do you remember what we are to ask for in Ch 1? How is God’s wisdom described in Ch 3?)
do not receive,
WHY does a person
because you ask
with wrong motives,
WHAT are the wrong motives?
so that you may spend
(What is the ‘it’?)
4 WHAT does James call these people?
WHAT do these not know?
do you not know
with WHO? WHAT?
with the world
(Do you remember what the command was in Jam 1:27 regarding the world?)
Therefore (Did you recognize this Term of Conclusion?)
WHAT does James conclude?
to be a friend
a friend of WHAT?
of the world
WHAT is true of this one who wishes to be a friend of the world?
WHAT does he/she make themselves to be?
makes himself an enemy
(THINK: Are those of faith enemies of God?)
5 WHY are these people enemies of God?
Or do WHO?
Or do you
that the Scripture
speaks to no purpose:
WHAT does the Scripture speak?
He (Who is He?)
WHAT did He (God) do?
which He (God)
WHERE did He make the Spirit to dwell?
Do you see the value of asking questions? What words popped out?
Were you able to see God’s word more clearly?
Are you not in awe to see what He says when you slow down? Isn’t it wonderful?
Let’s Call It a Day
Mull over what we just read.
Perhaps read and re-read for clarity, and consider what God has said through James.
May we consider our ways, (Hag 1:5)!
Journal Your Notes
Did you have questions?
Put them in your Notes.
Ask God to answer them.
Once more, I would encourage you to keep up your List on God and Jesus.
You will be so glad you did.
Let’s Close in Prayer
Perhaps. . .
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, we are so thankful for Your Word. That razor sharp two-edged sword that is able to discern our thoughts and intentions, that frees us, that cleanses and sanctifies us. May this Word that we just read slowly and with purpose make head way from our heads to our hearts. May we truly ponder and chew on what You are saying to us about the source of conflicts and quarrels among us; about satisfying our lusts; and being a friend of the world. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen!
I want to applaud you for your commitment and time to be with the Lord today. You are doing great!
Next: We will LOOK @ the source of quarrels.
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