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Showing posts from May, 2010

James 4:13

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." (NIV) I kept this verse separate from verse 14 because it is important to understand who James is talking to. Who are these people who would say this thing? And more importantly, what is so wrong with the statement?!? I am looking at this statement, and I can tell that James is leading into some sort of rebuke, but the statement that he is about to rebuke really doesn't seem that bad! Is business bad? Is it bad to make money? These aren't the issues though. As we will see as we look at the next few verses, the problem is the simple lack of God in the day to day processes of life.

James 4:11-12

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him 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? (NIV) This passage is really about authority. We are not to slander our brother or sit in condemnation about our brother, making decisions about his motives and reasonings... Why? Because we are not the judge! There is only one judge. There is only one lawgiver! There is only one because THERE IS ONLY ONE! He is the only one with the power to save and the power to destroy. When we sit in condemnation, making decisions about people, we are attempting to take His authority when we don't have the authority, or for that matter, the ability. You see, not only, should we not be judges, because there is already a judge, but also, could we not be judges b

James 4:10

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (NIV) There is hope for the sinner and the double minded man. There is hope yet, even if they have not come to that place of repentance yet. The hope is not to be found in putting on a happy face, laughing and showing joy. The hope is to be found in humbling yourself before the Lord. Then and only then, He will lift you up.

James 4:9

Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. (NIV) Remember, this is directed at the sinner (the one who continues to live a habitual life of sin) and the double-minded (the one of two minds, two psyches, two souls).  James' advice to these people is to grieve, to mourn, to wail.  The laughing that has been going on, needs to cease and be turned to crying and gloom.  Why?  Without repentance, there is no salvation.  Without a change of mind, and a change of action, there is no hope.  All of the good times that these people are having and all of the waffling and floundering that is going on will only lead to imminent doom.

James 4:8 b

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NIV) There are two statements here.  The first has three key words: wash, hands, and sinners. The second has similar key words: purify, hearts, and double-minded. If we look at the first three key words we see that the sinner, one who is practicing sin or given over to the occupation of sin, should wash or cleanse, that is remove the stains or make clean, the hands, that which the person is doing. If we look at the second three key words we see that the double-minded, one who is wavering, uncertain, or divided in interest, should purify, that is set apart or clean, the heart, that is, the inner man. So, outside and inside there is a call to be clean.  Don't forget though that this directive comes immediately after the empowering words of the true powerlessness of Satan and the great desire of God to draw near to you.

James 4:8 a

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (NIV) Here we see a furtherance of the equation from the previous verse. Do you want the closeness of God? Do you desire His imminent, immediate presence in your life? Do you want God to be near? Then draw near to Him! It is truly amazing how many people would voice their desire to have God's presence in their life, yet they spend most of their time fleeing from everything to do with God! Read His word. Pray to Him today. Spend time with Him in the morning, on your way to work, during those spare moments of the day. On your way home. In your joys. In your trials. At all times and in all ways, draw close to Him and you will find that He is very near.