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Are you a lover or a fighter?

James 4.1-10 ESV 

4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 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. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! 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. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

In this Epistle James is write to us about avoiding the pull of the world upon us. He starts off by telling us the real problem exist within ourselves within our hearts. It is in the heart of man that all these evil desires grow from. Tuff to hear I know, but were all reading the same text.

James uses the word “passions” Vrs 1,3 (Grk. hēdonē) which is sensual delight; by implication, desire:—lust, pleasure. Jesus used the same word for the cares of life that draw us away from maturity (Luke 8.14) and Paul uses it to describe our former life (Titus 3.3).

As James continues in his writing he also thankfully gives us the solution to our wicked heart. In verses 7 & 8 he writes “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” His solution is powerful. He gives our response to our wicked heart repent and then he gives the promise of God’s Word to draw near and He will do the same.

In Jeremiah book of Lamentations we read; “I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit; 56 you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help!’ 57 You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’ ” Lam 3.55-57 ESV

How comforting to know that God desires for us to come to His throne and walk away changed by His glory.

Now before you say that you don’t qualify for such a thing look again at the scripture in verse 6 James writes “But He gives more grace” truly good news for us when we fall short of His call. Never forget that God’s plan has always been for us to turn from our wicked ways (repent) and find grace in His Son Jesus for all the trials of this life. friends stop fight and start loving God's plan of redemption. Amen

 

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Good or Bad?

Today is Good Friday and we as Christians should take a few moments to readjust our focus. I received an email this week from a friend and wanted to share with you all. Really were just reposting a sermon from CH Spurgeon and his thoughts on what many call a somber day. It helped me to gain a better perspective for the weekend and I pray it will do the same for you. God bless and let us rejoice He is Risen!

Delivered by Charles Haddon Spurgeon on September 7, 1890: 

“The Lord of life and glory was nailed to the accursed tree. He died by the act of guilty men. We, by our sins, crucified the Son of God. We might have expected that, in remembrance of his death, we should have been called to a long, sad, rigorous fast. Do not many men think so even to-day? See how they observe Good Friday, a sad, sad day to many; yet our Lord has never enjoined our keeping such a day, or bidden us to look back upon his death under such a melancholy aspect. 

Instead of that, having passed out from under the old covenant into the new, and resting in our risen Lord, who once was slain, we commemorate his death by a festival most joyous. It came over the Passover, which was a feast of the Jews; but unlike that feast, which was kept by unleavened bread, this feast is brimful of joy and gladness. It is composed of bread and of wine, without a trace of bitter herbs, or anything that suggests sorrow and grief. The bread and the cup most fitly set forth the death of our Lord and Saviour, and the mode of that death, even by the shedding of his blood; but as they stand before us now, they evoke no tears, they suggest no sighs. 

The memorial of Christ's death is a festival, not a funeral; and we are to come to the table with gladsome hearts, ay, and go away from it with praises, for ‘after supper they sang a hymn.’” (Sermon No. 2248)

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