James, Lesson 5
Heavenly Father, we praise You and thank You. We give You all power, glory, praise, and honor. We acknowledged that Your name is above all name. We pray for wisdom, understanding, and insight to receive Your Word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
James 4:1-17, pray and submit to God’s will, do not boast about tomorrow
VV 1-2, 1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
Wars, strive, conflicts, fights, and disagreements among people come from personal desires for power, lust, anger, pride, and covetousness.
VV 3-6, 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
We prayed but did not receive answers because we did not pray according to God’s will. God is a jealous God who demands absolute loyalty. If we are friends with the world, we are enemies with God. Peter quoted Proverbs 3:34.
Proverbs 3: 34, “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble”.
1 Peter 5:5, Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
VV 7-10, 7 Therefore submit 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 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
We should submit by drawing near to God and resists the devil. We should be clear minded and vigilant at all times because the devil is ready to pounce on us like a roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8. We are sinners with unclean hands and unclean hearts. We should purify their hands and hearts, mourn, weep, and humble ourselves before God.
1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”
VV 11-12, 11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
We should not bad mouth our brothers in the faith, or judge them by the law. We should obey the law and not judge others by the law.
VV 13-16, 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
We should not boast about tomorrow because we do not know what will happen to us tomorrow. Life is fragile, unpredictable, and transient, like the grass and flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow. Life is like a vapor that appears for a short while and disappears. We should commit all our plans to God and acknowledge that only He knows what is best for us. Boasting is pride, arrogance, and evil. There is no place for boasting in the kingdom of God. Omitting to do good is a sin.
God will not answer our prayers if we do not pray according to His will and if we do not draw near to Him in submission and humility. God will answer our prayers if we have a living relationship with Him. We should never boast about tomorrow because life is uncertain, fragile, transient, and unpredictable. We should commit all plans to God and not boast about them.
Heavenly Father, help us submit to You and draw near to You in faith and humility. We pray to abide in You and Your word to abide in us. We acknowledged that we are sinners saved by grace. We pray for cleansing by the blood of Christ. Help us to humble ourselves in Your sight. We pray for uplifting of spirits and countenance, in Jesus’ name.