(A look at James 4 from 2015)
I abruptly left off in verse 6 yesterday. It was an unusual morning, there was a baby asleep in the bedroom off the kitchen and my truck was on loan so I scrambled for a ride and for food and for the liquid of life, (aka coffee) and for quiet, for me and the sleeping baby.
Plus I kinda chickened out of the next verses. I will quote them using the message because it makes more sense to me. Besides it uses the word graffiti. First we’ll talk about how to deal with temptation.
“7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”
Say no. Yell no, then run. Do not run away, but run to God. I tried this the other day. I told God exactly what I was being tempted by. And then I napped. That is not a practical way to live my life 98% of the time but that day? It was just what I needed.
“11-12 Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?”
I was driving home last night and some one to my left didn’t yield to my right of way, then didn’t signal or stop at the stop sign. I didn’t either but this is not about me, or is it. How many times have I pronounced judgement on the terrible driver in front of me while being guilty of the same mistakes? What if I take a broader picture of my life? Can I condemn someone when I am guilty of the same or worse? I will try to leave the condemning to our gracious and merciful God, who knows men’s hearts.
“13-15 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
16-17 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.”
Who knows what a day will bring forth? No one. No one except God. Honor God in our plans and in our speech.
Knowing the right thing to do and not doing it? That’s just as wrong as doing wrong thing. Sin. Sinning and repenting and being forgiven. That is the Christian Life.