Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More Grace (James 4:4-6)

- My Bible's footnote says that "You adulterous people" is an allusion to covenant unfaithfulness, referring to Israel as unfaithful wife of Jehovah (Hosea 3:1).
- Friendship with the world = enmity (hatred/hostility) against God. To maintain friendship with the world is to be on good terms with (to support, to favor, to approve) persons and things and ideas that are at least indifferent toward God if not openly hostile to Him. When we seek after our own desires/ pleasures (as mentioned in previous verses), we're doing what the world does (acting just like the world), not doing what God wants/tells us to do.
- Our God is a jealous God; He wants our undivided loyalty and will not tolerate divided allegiance. We cannot serve two masters. Are you in or out? You cannot have one foot following the world and the other foot following Jesus. It won't work!
- 1 John 2:15-17 comes to mind, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
- Verse 6 is encouraging! "But He gives us more grace"! Even when we are wandering off (choosing our own selfish ways/ getting enamored with the world), the Holy Spirit within us jealously tries to pull us back from the world to Himself/ relentlessly works to open our eyes and turn us back to Him. More grace! We don't deserve it but we desperate need it! God knows that it must be difficult for us to live wholeheartedly for Him in a wicked world. Our affection is being pulled constantly by worldly things. We definitely need to humbly ask for God's help.
- Humility is the key here . God gives grace (shows favor) to the humble, but He opposes (resists) the proud. The proud are those who think they don't have a problem...those who think they can manage things on their own without God's help...those who blame it on everyone else. The humble are those who acknowledge that they struggle with selfishness, envy, etc. and know that they cannot win this battle within by themselves. For the humble, God gives abundant grace (more and more grace) and will help them overcome their struggles.

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