James continues sharing God’s word with us in our reading today in ways that are elegantly simple, straightforward, and convicting.
Wrong motives – 4:3
Have we ever considered this seriously as a reason that God doesn’t answer our prayers? It could be, couldn’t it, that sometimes our motives are entirely selfish about some things, and perhaps that the Lord desires us to be a little less self-absorbed? Sometimes our motives are even less noble than selfish, too. God knows the motives and intentions of our innermost thinking.
Resist the devil – 4:7
We’re told here that resisting the devil will make him flee. Does he not flee sometimes because we don’t flee as much as we should? Maybe we hang around – thinking, only thinking, about it. Maybe sometimes we even inch a little closer. That’s not fleeing. Fleeing is what Joseph did with Potiphar’s wife – no hesitating, no hanging around, no inching closer, just bolting. I’m not merely talking about physical running away – although that is necessary sometimes – I’m talking about turning the temptation down, flatly and with finality, as soon as you realize that you’re being tempted.
Lord willing – 4:15
Making plans is important in order to accomplish anything of any great importance – even God planned. However, when we make plans without including God and His will, we commit a faithless act. That’s James’ point here. Every day we get is a gift from God. Every breath, every work, everything is a gift. We’re not on our own here. To lose sight of that is to lose sight of God.
Blessed who endured – 5:11
We all suffer as Christians, but not all Christians endure it well – or at all. We admire the prophets and the apostles and other Bible heroes who endured so much for righteousness’ sake. And we understand that their martyrdom or courageous endurance of trial and temptation gained them Heaven But do we have intention to do so ourselves?
See you tomorrow, Lord willing