“1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, “God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
6 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,
“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” NRSV
I love the Book of James. It’s pithy, direct, and steps on everyone’s toes who give it a serious read. The passage above is a good example.
For some time now I have seriously considered preaching a sermon series on James. It’s message is especially pertinent for out times. “Do the conflicts and disputes among you…not come from your cravings that are at war in you?” Ouch! “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.” Double ouch!
Maybe I don’t want to preach from James after all….
Be a blessing to someone today!