“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us’? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
---End of Scripture verses---
“The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (Hebrews 3:18). But “quarrels and conflicts” stem from the “war” that is waged on our willing spirits by our weak flesh (verses 1-2). “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits” (Hebrews 3:17). But the “wisdom” that ascends from “below” produces envy, strife and murder and every form of evil, even among brothers and sisters in Christ.
In the quest to gratify our “pleasures” (lusts) humans have the tendency to run roughshod over one another. If we lust after our brother’s possessions to the point that we love his “stuff” more than we do him, we are no better than murderers. “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:15-16)
If we love the world and are swelling with its lusts and pride, we make ourselves the enemies of God (verse 4). It is no wonder that God refuses to hear and answer our prayers when our “motives” are driven by the things that He hates. When we love the world and hate our brethren we commit spiritual adultery and murder and meet, not merely with God’s displeasure, but His vigorous opposition (verse 6). God is the most powerful enemy we can ever make for ourselves, but thankfully all is not lost. If we humble ourselves before the mighty and merciful hand of God, He will more than willingly give His grace that is greater than all of our sins.
The Lord our God is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24). He will not allow us to share our love with Him and the world. “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us” (verse 5). “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in” us (Romans 8:11), we will serve Him and please Him and live eternally through Him. But if the spirit of “the prince of the power of the air” works in us (Ephesians 2:2), we are “dead in” our “trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), hostile towards God and separated from His saving grace.
Humble yourself before Him friend and He will lift you up and make you clean. Meet Him on His terms, obey His commandments and be a friend to Jesus. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (verse 6).
Please read James 4:7-10 for tomorrow.
Please come worship God with us today at the Taylorsville Road church of Christ.
We assemble at 3741 Taylorsville Road in Louisville Kentucky.
9:30 AM Bible classes for all ages. 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM worship services.
Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
- Louie Taylor