Although James 2 was quite intense, James 4 in many ways is the climax of the letter as James really calls the Church out and makes them take a serious look at their spiritual condition. He moves from calling them “brethren” and “my beloved brethren” to “you adulteresses” and “you sinners”. Eventually James comes back to using the phrase “my brethren” (vs. 11), but it is clear that he desperately longs for the Church to be fully devoted followers of Jesus.
Right from the beginning of the chapter, James asks them to consider the source or cause of all the conflict that is happening in the Church. In vs. 8, James says to the Church, who were living as ‘double-minded’ or ‘two-souled’ Christians, “purify your hearts”.
Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you it’s condition. Spend some time thinking about these two passages of scripture:
“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7)
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
We live in a culture where we need calendars and planners to map out each day, week, and month. Maybe for your job you even need a plan for the full year and even 5 and 10 year plans. In verses 13-15 James asks the Church to consider how they approach making plans. When teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus told them to pray for God’s will, saying: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6).
Spend some time considering these questions: Am I ok with it if God’s plans for my life are different than my plans? Am I seeking His will for my life or my will? Do I trust His plans and will for me?
NEXT WEEK will be our last class as we take a look at James 5. In preparation for our last time together, I’d like you to come with two things: