Acts + Letters Lesson 29 Day 3

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James 4:1-10

6. What leads to strife and conflicts?

Conflicting internal passions, desires, jealousy—the war within us.

We crave things we aren’t getting and become envious of others who seem to have a better life than we do.

Those desires become a driving force, and out of frustration we hate others and covet what they have. On a larger scale it even causes wars. [To hate is to murder as far as our hearts are concerned.]3

James goes on to explain the source of our problem.

We don’t have (what we crave) because we don’t ask. 

And when we do ask, our motives are corrupt—seeking to fulfill our selfish desires.

“Being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy.” (v. 4)3

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19)

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He has taken the wise in their craftiness. (Job 5:13)” (1 Cor 3:19)

For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; (2 Cor 10:3)

7. Humility cures worldliness

Don’t love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. (1 John 2:15)

We are in the world but not of the world. The world is not our model for living, nor is it our source for wisdom. Therefore, the world will not understand us, nor will it like us.

To stop thinking like the world, we need more grace which is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Also subject ourselves to God, resist the devil (stand firm), and he will flee. 

We have a promise in verse 8—if we come close to God, he will come close to us. 

We draw near, grieving over the reality that we have been disloyal to him.

The next phrase has special significance in this season—”Wash your hands, you sinners!”

Will some be like Pilate who couldn’t get the blood off his hands? 

Purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]

Another glorious promise—

Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. (v. 10 emphasis added) 3

8. Personal

News headlines about the economy and the virus clamor for my attention. Instead of allowing those thoughts to cause fear, I should do as Jesus did when Satan tempted him—resist the temptation with scripture, especially Psalm 91.

The Lord is my refuge and my fortress.

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler,
    and from the deadly pestilence. (pestilence means a deadly epidemic disease) (Psalm 91:2-3)

In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)


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Resources


1 EnduringWord.com
2 AWM Living Commentary
3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 29 Day 3

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