Monday, November 5, 2012
260 in 2012 DEVOS - Day 221 - James 4: Rebuke
Chapter 3 ends with “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” Then chapter 4 begins with “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” Quite the contrast huh?! It’s hard to read this chapter without feeling rebuked! And we all know how much we love that, yet rebuke is one of the very things God’s word is useful for (2 Timothy 3:16). Maybe the first 12 verses from God should be rephrased like this: “You selfish pig (1-3), choose your side (4-6), humbly repent (7-10) and let me take care of your brother (11-12).” Nah, that’s too convicting! Anyway, I believe the big idea here is submission to God. When we live a life of daily trusting the Lord to meet our needs, it helps remove selfishness, draws us closer in our friendship with God and makes us humbly treat others with the same mercy & grace we have received. James goes on to address the prideful spirit of making plans without God. It’s easy to forget that we’re really not here on this planet very long before we spend eternity elsewhere! That’s why James tells us “Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." So – will you do it? “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.” Ouch. SO WHAT?! *Selfishness, pride and fear often get in the way of what God wants to do TO us and THRU us. What about you? Is there a relationship that has caused quarrels and now it’s strained? Why not ask God to give you the strength today to make it right?! “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” *Making plans is not bad. Actually I believe if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. But when we make plans and leave God out of the picture, that’s when it’s bad. What plans do you have? Hopes? Desires? Dreams? Why not pray to the Lord and give them over to Him?! They may turn out even better than we could have ever hoped for!!! *Finally, I believe that most of the time we think of sin as things we DO. But the last verse of this chapter tells us that sin is also the things we know we should do but don’t! Has the Holy Spirit prompted you to do something recently that you ignored? Like maybe telling that friend about Jesus? If so, let’s ask God’s forgiveness and then ask Him to help us to DO what we know we should!