Last week we were able to study James chapter three. James continues in the fourth chapter warning us how important it is for us to be seeking peace with all.
We Must Be Peacemakers
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet 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 wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3 ESV)
James begins the passage with a question, he asks: “what causes fights and quarrels among you?” He’s asking us: why do you fight and quarrel among one another?
This is an important thing for us to realize, the reason why we quarrel is because we desire and cannot obtain.
We want something to happen the way we desire it to happen, but when it doesn’t happen the way we wish it would, we often seek to blame someone. When we blame someone for the situation, they often seek to either blame you or find someone else to blame for the problem. This creates a cycle. If we make a choice to honor God and others, by humbly accepting the problem or taking the blame for the problem ourselves. We can then move on in life with peace knowing that we did the right thing and made a decision that is honorable to God.
This ties in well with a portion of chapter three which we looked at last week:
A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:18 ESV)
Those who seek peace are also humbly seeking righteousness. As Christians, righteousness is our desire. Certainly we don’t want to be “In your face goody two-shoes” but we should seek God’s desire for our lives. With humility we must seek righteousness in order to honor God. James writes here that righteousness is sown by peace so start here by going out of your way to be peace makers.
A Warning Against Worldliness
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4 ESV)
James is warning us here that the world is against God and that conformment to the world is enmity with God. Another verse that comes to my mind when reading this is one from Romans chapter 12:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)
This verse is a reminder that we often need. Don’t be conformed to the world but be transformed, because of what Christ has done for us, we have changed our mindset. Instead of doing all things for our best interests, our desire now is to honor and glorify God in everything that we do. It’s easy for us to get distracted by the things of the world, so this verse is a much needed reminder for everyone of us.
Our Life Is Just A Vanishing Mist
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:13-14 ESV)
As James finishes off this chapter he reminds us that our lives are just a mist. They appear for just a little while but soon vanish. This ought to give us a deep desire to spend every moment of our lives for God’s glory. If we make this our desire we will find peace with God. Though we may experience difficulties and persecution throughout it all we can have peace knowing that this life on earth is only a little while, but we will soon spend eternity living in peace with God.
However on the contrary if we are living against God and for the world, we will spend eternity facing severe punishment and separated from Him.
It only depends on our choice. Will we follow Christ and go against the flow? Or will we follow the world against God?
Hopefully next week I will be able to share again with you. I hope to take a look at the last chapter of James. I’m sure it will be a good study and you’ll benefit from it. If you benefited from this post please feel free to share it with your friends on social media using the buttons below. If you are a new reader, or have been reading my posts for awhile, you’ll notice in the sidebar that there is a form for you to enter your email in, you can use that to sign up to receive a notification email when I post new content. No worries, I hate spam too and you can unsubscribe with one click.
Have a great week!