Me, God and Others. James Chapter 4

Me, God and Others. James Chapter 4

March 3, 2024

HANDOUT FOR SERMON: ME, GOD AND OTHERS. James Chapter 4.                                                                           March 3rd, 2024, Manchester, TN.

INTRODUCTION:  In James chapter 4, God is challenging us to look deeply within our own hearts and test our own spiritual maturity.  It is very important that we spend more time looking inward than we do at looking outward! As I was studying James chapter 4, I felt as though God was telling me, Terrell is it all about YOU not about everyone else! That is why I have entitled our study: “Me, God and Others!”  Please join in our study with a heart that is willing to honestly look at your own life, actions and thoughts.

LESSON:                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1.WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF QUARRELS AND FIGHTS AMONG GOD’S PEOPLE. James 4:1-5                                                                               Do you find it strange that God is having to advise His children to stop fussing and fighting with one another? Why would New Testament believers even do such things?  It does appear to me that the New Testament Christians did struggle with maturity and with being fleshly and worldly.

Scripture: Galatians 5:16-23, Galatians 6:8, Romans 8:5-7, Romans 12:1-3, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, I John 2:15-17, Revelation 3:15-17

One of the reasons for struggles between believers could be one’s personal pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness. God addresses this in James chapter 4. Do you remember from our study of James 3 that Christians thought they could have blessings and curses come out of the same mouth. God also mentioned self-ambitions and jealousy. (James 3:11-14)

Pride promotes strife.   We need to define the concept of pride and as we define it please consider your own heart and attitude and do some self-evaluation.  Pride is a feeling of deep pleasure and satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements. Proud and arrogant people feel they deserve to be respected by other people. Such people are very conscious of their own qualities and skills.

It is all about ME or YOU!  God mentions your evil desires. He also mentions a person who schemes and plans and is jealous, which then leads one to fight and wage war, leaving God out of the equation. A person that is proud will react and act with improper motives and it will be all about their own ideas, thoughts, and pleasure. (James 4:1-3)

Scripture: Proverbs 20:3, Mark 3:25, Philippians 2:2-3.  God tells us that the wise man will work to avoid strife. In fact, God states that a man of honor will avoid strife but the fool is quick to quarrel!

What did God called New Testament Christians in James 4:4? Yes, believe it or not: “Adulterers and adulteresses!” This comes from the fact that these believers had gone into a “covenant relationship” with God, a contract, a promise, an agreement between two parties. They had a binding agreement with God with certain activities and promises to keep. This is how strongly God feels about us. He sees Himself as the faithful husband.  He will not accept our friendship with the world! He simply states that if we choose the world over Him then we are NO FRIEND OF GOD, so stop saying you are! Read: 1 John 2:15-17.

 2.A LACK OF HUMILITY IN THE CHRISTIAN, James 4:6-7. How important is it to you to have access to the grace of God? Could you live and be happy if it were not for the grace of God? Have you ever considered that your life might be disrespectful to God?

Humility Cures Worldliness and Selfishness.  Why must I be humble before the Lord?

  • If not humble then God is your enemy. He is your creator and your authority. You are to submit.
  • We have entered a covenant relationship with God so you can’t blame it on God.
  • He is a perfect husband, yet it is we who are not “perfect!” (The imperfect ones.)

Why should I desire to draw near to God? James 4:6-8

  • God gives grace to the humble.
  • Our hearts can be purified due to God.
  • A danger of a divided loyalty! V.8

What is the result or benefit of being humble? James 4:7-10

  • You will submit willingly & resist the devil.
  • You will draw near to God, cleanse your hands, and purify your hearts.
  • You will mourn and weep because you see yourself for who you are-a sinner needing grace.                                                                    

3.THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF JAMES CHAPTER 4.

  • Do not judge a brother, James 4:11-12.
  • Do not boast about tomorrow, James 4:13-17.

It is so easy to focus on others both in the Church and out of the Church. We all must be careful about our attitudes about other people. Why do we speak badly or evil of others without speaking directly to them? Oh, yes, we have become “fruit readers!” Well, let me ask you how good are you as a “heart reader” or a “motive reader?”  How dare we try to judge in an area where we are incapable of doing so How dare we become judges of the law, of the law of liberty, James 2:12-13 & 4:12.

God does speak about being concerned for each other: Matthew 18:15-20, Luke 17:3, 1 John 5:16-17, Galatians 6:1, Ephesians 5:11.

Let us be very careful in our interactions with one another. God is telling us what He expects of us in reference to “passing judgment” on others. Unfortunately, sometimes the way and manner we talk about other people leaves the wrong impression and we must be careful about such behavior.

Conclusion: May we all use more time scrutinizing ourselves and spend less time being judgmental of others. When it is important for us to speak to others, may we turn to God for the admonition of how and when we do such. Let us work hard not to fuss, fight and quarrel as that displeases God!