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FRAMEWORKS: The Letter of James

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Frameworks: James 4


v.1-12 Remedying Bad Attitudes, Desires & Motives

v.13-17 Boasting About Tomorrow


[Chapter 4 Synopsis: Outward conflicts come from the same inner selfish attitudes the world holds. These are rejected when we receive the grace of God that brings about a new humility within us that puts us in a peaceable frame of mind in respect of others, and is contented with each day, trusting God with our tomorrows.]



v.1-12 Remedying Bad Attitudes, Desires & Motives


[Passage Synopsis: Conflict always comes from wrong inner desires; that's what the world does. God's grace is revealed in humility which will reject that sort of outlook and create peace in you in respect of others.]


v.1 (upsets always emanate from inner desires) What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?

v.2 (you want more than you have or are and don't get that because you don't ask God) You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

v.3 (if you do ask it's often with wrong motives so you don't get what you want) When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

v.4 (if you side with the world and take on its attitudes you'll be against God) You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

v.5 (doesn't the Bible teach He yearns for closeness with you) Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

v.6 (He longs to give us more grace but it's only the humble who will receive it) But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud   but shows favor to the humble.” [Prov. 3:34]

v.7 (so give yourself to God, resisting the enemy) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

v.8 (seek God and you'll find Him, be pure and single minded) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

v.9 (repent in anguish if you have these wrong attitudes) Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

v.10 (be humble before God and He will elevate you ) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

v.11 (speak rightly about one another, don't judge one another) Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

v.12 (God is the only judge, so don't try to take His place) There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?



v.13-17 Boasting About Tomorrow


[Passage Synopsis: This humility is translated into the way we view the ‘tomorrows' of our lives, simply trusting our days to Him.]


v.13 (Beware the attitude that thinks it can control tomorrow) Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”

v.14 (Be honest, you haven't a clue what tomorrow might hold) Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

v.15 (rest instead in God's will overseeing your life) Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.”

v.16 (all such boasting is in vain) As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

v.17 (if you know what you should do but don't, that is sin) If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.



Continue to Chapter 5