James 4: Considering Passions and Prayers

Reposted from Pr. Stout
(33 verses, 3:45 to read)
What I am about to READ
  • Considering our passions and prayers
  • 1-3: What causes quarrels and fights among Christians?
  • 4-10: Invitation to deny the false friendship of the world and repent in humility.
  • 11-12: There’s one Lawgiver and Judge and that’s not you.
  • 13-16: Recognize you don’t know the future and get used to saying, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
  • 1-2a: Coveting, jealousy, and other sinful passions are at war with Christ and the Holy Spirit in us.  These passions don’t stay buried for long, but often show themselves in fights and quarrels.  How can we react to such sinful passions?
  • 2b-3: One of the key answers is a good prayer life.  Rather than jealousy and coveting, the Christian should 1.) Pray and thank God He has given another person a blessing (of material good, talent, etc.).  2.) Pray against these sinful passions and know that God loves to answer those prayers (“You do not have, because you do not ask.”)So, pray that God gives you joy for others’ gifts, and He will answer that prayer.  That is a war that God loves to fight in us.  And 3.) Prepare to repent that we are not praying against our passions, but in a desire to fulfill them (“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions”).
  • 4-10: Considering our passions and prayer life, the Christian should be quick to draw near to God and ask for grace in utter humility – that just so happens to be a fantastic position before God.  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
  • 14 …What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  Pray:
    Lord Jesus, I do not have to wonder if it is Your will to humble me as I consider my sinful passions and life too often filled with coveting, jealousy, judgment and quarrelling.  It is. I do not have to wonder if it is Your will to cleanse me, purify me, and exalt me as I draw near to You.  It is.  I don’t know if it is Your will to give me a tomorrow or even much more of today, but I do know it is Your will to take lowly, mortal, vanishing me, and give me an eternal body united with my now eternal soul in the resurrection.  Help me see You as my True Friend and not seek friendship with a world that is vanishing.  Amen.
 Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/ or if reading on facebook, check out the blog: https://rightlydividedbible.wordpress.com/
Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC

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