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If you have a Bible, I would encourage you to open up to James chapter four. We’re going through a book of James, the Book of James together in a series called Be Bold, and we’re studying just what the book of James has for us as a body of believers. We have three weeks left in this book, and James is a wonderful book for us for the summertime. And the reason is James is all about a faith of of not just profession, but a faith of possession. How do we live our lives in light of Christ? And James, throughout this book describes much of what maturity looks like in walking with Jesus. How do we do that in in our lives? I want to announce this real quick as you turn to the book of James. This this is off topic to James. Um, I want you guys to know, in the future, near future, our church is going to start a a financial campaign. We haven’t we haven’t even planned to announce this. I’m just announcing it this morning because I saw the number of kids in the back. We’re going to start a financial campaign to raise the finances. We need to finish the outside of our building. And and we’re going to ask us as a congregation to help out with that, whether contribute financially or ask friends, family, other believers that you know that know the importance of having a church here. Um, talk to them about seeing if they could help us build the first freestanding, mainstream Christian church in the city of Lehi.

That’s that’s what we’re after. The only reason I announced that is right before I came up here, Jared took our 1011 year olds to class, and there was like 15 of them. And we don’t we don’t have space for that. So they are improvising this morning. But, um, the importance, I guess, to recognize is this. Before I get to James, I guess. Here, let me tie it in to James. A faith, a faith that’s that’s not just profession, but possession of Jesus is important to you. We want to see his work continue. We don’t talk about money a whole lot here, and we don’t try to guilt people into giving money. We want people to do it from the joy that they have in the Lord. But we need it. Um, there needs to be a church in this city, a mainstream church, to preach God’s truth. And that only happens when God’s people give. And we need to see a building established here. We’re not near where where we should be. And you know that when you pull into the parking lot and it amazes me that we even have visitors by the look of our our parking lot, I would think if I pulled in here something, I would die when I walked in. Someone’s going to kill me. But but people still come for whatever reason, I don’t know, it’s maybe it’s a testimony to what God’s doing in us and through us, but we still have work that needs done.

And so anything that we have above and beyond our budget goes into savings to go towards that cause. But we are going to start a a campaign to do that. And just watching all those kids go out reminded me of how big of a need that is, because as we finish, the outside of the city of Lehi has required us to do both inside and outside. We’ve got to come back and then expand our church too, because we’re already out of space. So. So we need all that. So. So as you think about what the Lord can do in you and through you, we we need that. We have a faith of of of of not just profession but also possession. James talks about maturity to the believer. Now we’re back on topic here. Uh, he says in chapter one at the end of the chapter one, that when you have real faith, it looks like looks like this. You love those that that have nothing left to give in return, but you love them out of a heart of love because of what Jesus has done in you. He talks about both the widows and the orphans. He shares with us the need to stand with God in both trials and temptations. Knowing as a believer, just because you come to Christ doesn’t mean life’s going to be easy.

In fact, because you came to Christ, life may be more difficult. It redefines relationships that you have in this world, things that you learn to love in the flesh. You now let go of in Christ to find your joy in him. For some of us, those trials and temptations can become a struggle. But there is maturity in Christ and growing with him in chapter two, being treated equal regardless of social standing in this world, God has created us all in his image, all for the purpose of of seeing that image being born into this world as we we manifest Christ to one another as Jesus works his miracle within my heart and my life. It’s displayed on the outward self. And so James says to us, reminding us, faith without works is dead. If your faith is real, it should be seen, because what Christ does is transform you from the inside out. And we demonstrate that with our lives. It’s a mark of maturity in Christ. Last week we talked about the tongue. A good way to measure the maturity that you have in Jesus is by the words that you choose to express in this life. It’s not about not saying bad things. Just because you don’t say bad things doesn’t make you a godly person. It’s it’s who you choose to honor with the tongue as you exercise it. Religions about not saying bad things, but Jesus is about magnifying him in relationship through what we speak in this world, and it’s through our tongue that we can recognize what’s truly resting within our hearts.

It’s a mark of maturity. And this week James talks about conflict. He poses the very simple question in chapter four and verse one for us. He says this what is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? How how do we address conflict within our lives? And I think the tendency when we think about conflict, we immediately think about everything external to ourselves. If I say to you this morning, we’re going to talk about how how to handle conflict, you’ll say, good. I was wondering how to get that guy to be quiet and get out of my life. That’s not that’s not the way James begins with conflict. When we think about conflict, we think external money, relationships work. When James talks about conflict, he starts with the internal. So you can’t you can’t dictate what other people do in this world. But you you can handle how you respond to it. How do we address conflict? James starts with the internal. So this is not the source of your pleasures. Excuse me? He says. What is the source of your quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source of your pleasures that wage war in your members you lost 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. James. As he begins to address the idea of conflict. He sees the significance of not starting with the external, but looking at the heart on the internal. The things that you’re fighting over. He begins with this thought is it even really worth it? The things that you have conflict over in your life. If you stop and think about it, are they things rooted in Christ, or are they extra things that your flesh has desired within this world? Envy and coveting for things that you struggle and fight for in this life, but aren’t necessarily what Christ has for you in this world. Describes the conflict as starting within the heart and James when he says it at the end of of verse one, he describes it as happening among members and by the word members. He means this to those that are in Christ you. You have a new nature in him. Meaning when we before we knew Jesus as our Savior, the Bible describes our relationship with him as dead, being separate. But when we come to Christ, the Bible tells us that he implants His Spirit within us to give us a new nature as a new creation in him. First Corinthians 316 and 619 both talk about that spirit that dwells within you. And so as you now have this spirit, you now still have tendencies to that flesh.

And within your being there is a war taking place over your heart. The things of this world and the kingdom of your Lord. And Paul. Excuse me. James recognizes that in this passage of Scripture that we wore within our own members over what’s important, the conflict starts within us. Paul said this in Galatians five, for the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit, what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want. You have this longing for Christ, but the tendency of our flesh is to walk away from him. God has put this desire in you to yearn for him in relationship. But yet you fall short. This battle, this waging, this war happens within your life. It’s important to recognize, because what it does is rob us from the ultimate joy that Christ desires to bring into our life. It desires within us or our desire within us should be becoming, redefining who we are in light of who Christ is and realigning our priorities according to our King, and not making ourselves King of our own world. But yet Jesus becomes King of our lives. Paul in Romans seven, discussing this war that takes place within him. I think of all the people that should have it perfectly. It’s the apostle Paul. And yet he gets to chapter seven and verse 24 and he says, O wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death? And in verse 25 he says, but thanks be to Christ.

He’s come for us. Paul sets us free. Or excuse me, Jesus sets us free. And Paul recognizes it. We talk about conflict. It’s not about beginning with the external, but starting with what rests within our heart. And maybe this morning we asked that question, posing to ourselves, do you feel stressed? Do you feel conflict? Do you feel tension within your life? Do you feel that life is weighing you down? And have you stopped in that moment just to ask that the things that are stressing you out about this world, are they really things of God? Are they really worth fighting for? James says within this passage, the first few verses that what we seek in this life is pleasure. We seek after things that make will make us happy and in our flesh. Our tendency is to always do that apart from Christ. And in doing that, we find ourselves and discover ourselves and seeking after pleasures that will temporarily please our lives, but in no way will eternally satisfy our soul. C.s. Lewis used to say like this, I’m going to butcher the quote. But when he he would say that when we look at a world in which we can find no satisfaction in it, for us, it’s a reminder to us that we were created for something far more satisfying than what this world has to offer.

But not having our focus in the proper place that James says in this passage that what destroys us is we lust after things that we don’t have, so we commit even murder to get those things. We do whatever it takes to have those and you’re envious and cannot obtain. So you fight and you quarrel, yet you do not have because you do not ask. We have these selfish desires apart from Christ, for things that God didn’t desire for us to have to begin with, because we have made ourselves Lord over our own lives. We covet those things. We say things to ourselves like, I need status and affirmation from people. And so it’s important that you find your affirmation in what people say about you, rather than how Christ has identified you. And so when one person comes against you and you don’t like what they have to say, it hurts your pride. And so rather than seek God’s glory in that, you covet for position and power, and so you quarrel and fight. I need money to make you make me happy. And so we pursue a job making higher money and relocating our family, not thinking about the stress that it will bring, or even if it’s necessary and according to God’s will. Or I need to work more hours so I can have more things, but I’m not even there to enjoy the things that I thought were to bring me joy.

Maybe even in the way that we look, the physical appearance becomes so important to us that we go great and great lengths to make sure we have the appearance to receive the praise of people, never thinking that what matters to God is the beauty of the character that rests within we. We conflict within ourselves. This battle takes place within our lives. I think sometimes we can even do it in the area of family. Loving family and spending time with family is a glorious and wonderful thing. But sometimes we rearrange the priorities of what is important in life to teach our children things that maybe had good intentions, but lead off to the wrong course. Let me let me just give you an example. Um, maybe we recognize as important to spend time with family. And so we, we go out from this world and we go have a good time with kids, and we teach them that we’re all we’re just trying to have fun and and we take the weekend off and we’re just trying to have fun and, and and find pleasure in the things of this world. And so maybe a spiritual relationship with God becomes a back priority or, or being a part of a body becomes a secondary thought to your life, because the number one intention that you have in mind is to seek pleasure and joy with your family.

And it has good intentions. But the long term gain of that is that over time, as as you walk away from a relationship with a church body, you teach children the insignificance of it. They can’t see the priority and importance of it as it relates to their walk with Christ and everyone’s walk with Jesus. And so they begin to learn that life is about pleasure, that that what we do at the end of the weekend is we just go live for whatever makes us happy, and we don’t see the importance of gaining wisdom. And so you nurture children and and happiness and joy and trying to pursue that, that happiness. But we never instill with them the importance of wisdom and consistency and being a part of a, a bigger body and providing for them. And so we’ve learned to teach life about all, all about recreational, personal pleasure, but not how you fit into a community for the cause of Christ. And so as you grow older. Since your teenage years, you don’t see the importance of what it means to be a part of the beauty of what Christ has created by sacrificing his own life. And you’ve been taught that life is about just seeking personal pleasure for you and whatever it is on the weekend that makes you happy. Just just go do that. It doesn’t matter. And as parents on the back end of that, when your kids grow up, all that they’ve learned to do is seek after pleasure.

And so and so when they get older and they don’t have the wisdom that comes, and knowing God and walking with him, and they begin to live for the world, because the world is all about pleasure, you’re you’re left wondering what went wrong. There is a conflict in a war within us. It’s important for us to recognize the opportunity we have in coming to Christ that Christ may instill within us the beauty of the kingdom that will never end, one that will last forever. Rather than put our hope in temporal things, we put our hope in eternal things. And rather than have conflict over things that we that do not matter, we rest in things that do. You all know this, right? I mean, if if you’ve read your Bible, you’ve seen this. There’s conflict within us. We we got that right. And you read and you see in Scripture everyone says, even Peter and Paul and David, and they all turn from God, and they all walk with God, and they all had conflict with God. And no kidding, right? Verse two and verse three brings us to a place to remind us of something, though. James says to us, so we don’t fool ourselves. Here’s a way to test it in your life. Are you really walking with maturity, or have you fooled yourself into thinking that you are? And the way that he does that is the idea of prayer.

He says in verse two, he identifies one type of person. He says, so you fight and you quarrel, and you do not have because you do not ask. So this is the way a person that knows Jesus will walk in this world, living for this world. They don’t even talk to him. The things that they think are important in this life. They have had no discussion with God and relationship to him. They trust completely within their own power to obtain it because it’s all about their well being accomplished. And I’ve been praying about it. I have been seeking his face, his desire and covenant. They don’t even stop to think God, is this something that I need for your goodness and glory? God, is this something that you desire for me to have? Or in verse three he says this. What about the spiritual person that does this? You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your own pleasures? May maybe, rather than not praying at all. Maybe. Maybe this person prays, but what he treats God as is in prayer is just a hand puppet. That the only time they pray is to talk God about something that he needs to give them. God, $1 million will make me happy. So God, I need I need that car and I need that promotion, and I need and I need and I need and I need.

And you just never stop within your soul. And you say, God, God, do you want? Would you prefer me to have this for your goodness and glory? God, I’m thinking about walking with you in this world. I know what the world defines as important, but. But what’s important to me is that I walk with you and my family walks with you. And. And if I make this move, Lord, would it would it be beneficial for your glory and goodness? God’s interest is the motive is interested in the motivation through which you carry into prayer. And your prayer life is an indication of the maturity that you have in Christ. It’s to say to us this morning, do you have conflict? Are you stressed out? We’ll think about. Think about this. Are you walking with the Lord in this? Are you asking God to give you the vision that he has for this world, for you, rather than you tell God what your vision is for him? Your prayer life will will teach you all about the maturity that you have in Christ. And rather than envy and coveting, you learn to walk with God. Talking about the thought of envy and coveting in verse two, Warren Wiersbe says this thou shalt not covet is the last of God’s Ten Commandments, but it’s violation. It’s violation can make us break all of the other nine. Covetousness can make a person murder, tell lies, dishonor his parents, commit adultery, and in one way or another violate all of God’s moral law.

Selfish living and selfish praying always lead to war. If there is war on the inside, there will ultimately be war on the outside. He went on to say, people who are at war with themselves because of selfish desires are always unhappy people. They never enjoy life. Instead of being thankful for for the blessings they do have, they complain about the blessings they don’t have. They cannot get along with other people because they are always envying others for what they have and do. They are always looking for that magical something that will change their lives when the real problem is within their own hearts. James wants us to get to a place within this passage Scripture, recognizing that most conflict for us, if we’re honest, originates within ourselves. Even when you walk in, you think in a marital relationship, you walk into a tension moment with your spouse, knowing your spouse is in high energy towards you. Why do you find it so important to yell back at them? What within that conflict is resting in your heart, that you see that it’s so important that rather than honor Christ in that moment, you respond with vicious anger. As a phrase, loose lips sink ships. Right? We could think anger builds anger. But a response of love. Has the tendency to quiet the soul in its frustration. And what about your pride in this moment? Get so bent out of shape that we respond apart from Christ rather than resting in him.

And so James brings us to a place and he says, okay, just recognize this. The solution for life and the joy within life and the conflict that we raise, all of that, it is because of you. And the answer for it is, is not found within you. The answer for it actually rests in Christ. And so James goes on and he begins to explain to us, we we have conflict with each other. And because of our conflict within ourselves, we we also have conflict with with our relationship with God. And so he says, verse seven, you adulterous, adulterous you. 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 he gives grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Understand what God’s desire and conflict is. The resolution to conflict is to walk with Christ in conflicts and understand how God responds to you in the midst of conflict is important. Meaning when I’m. When I mess up, um, how does God feel about me? Does he hate me? Do I need to run off and prove my worth to him and come back before he accepts me and and helps me fix whatever’s wrong? What is God’s response to me? And James reminds us of this.

That we we walk in conflict with God, but God doesn’t walk in conflict with us. God doesn’t desire conflict with us. It’s our choice to walk in conflict with him in verse four. But in verse five he says this. He earnestly desires that his spirit would be made known in your life. In verse six he goes on and even describes as as he desires that spirit to be made known in your life, but he gives a greater grace. So no matter how much you feel like you live for the world, no matter how much you feel like you’ve blown it, no matter how selfish you’ve been, no matter how much you’ve rooted your heart in things that are opposed to God and relationship with him, God gives a greater grace that covers it. I was reading about the idea of grace and forgiveness as it relates to the Christian life. I was reading a world religion teacher’s, well, prominent, well known guy and he said this. Do you know that something that marks Christianity and following after Jesus, biblically different than any other religion in the world is this we have forgiveness. When you think of all religions in the world and you study them, the description for us in sin is that we would prove to God our worth.

That we would show God how much we deserve his love. And on the back end of most of them, they give you no reaffirmation that you’ve ever done enough. You constantly live in this perpetual thought of I’ve sinned and now I’ve got to prove God my worth before I can join back in relationship with him. I mean, if I said to you this morning, how many of you can go five minutes without sinning? How many would say, that’s me, right? All right. What about one minute? Before I walk out of here today? I don’t know, it may happen, right? A sinful thought or a tendency or a word could leave my mouth. Could could you imagine trying to constantly wonder within your life? Am I in his grace or am I not? Have I pleased God enough? Is he going to be happy? The idea of Scripture is this we’re going to see in a moment. There is nothing, nothing you could do to ever satisfy a holy God. In and of yourself. But he says this to us. You walk in conflict, God earnestly desires His Spirit within you, and so he brings a grace that will just cover him. God desires for you to walk with him. And so in verse seven, he gets to the place and he says this submit therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Sometimes we get in the place in our lives where we like to undermine our sin as if it’s not a big deal, like we compare with each other. And actually, in the end of James, you’re going to see that the believers did that in verse 11 and 12. They just compared with each other are what I did is not that bad. Susie down the road is way worse than I am. I’m good. Right? First Peter five eight says this to us the devil like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He just doesn’t want to just quiet you. He just wants to destroy you. And he desires to to rip your life apart. And what Christ is saying is recognize what’s on the outside in this world because my door is open, calling you to freedom and joy within me. The Bible says this that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, that when Jesus came, he came offering his peace. In John 14 he offered that peace. In Isaiah nine six, he’s called the Prince of peace in Ephesians. When Paul tells us at the end of the book to put on the armor of God, he says, have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and that we, in pursuit of him, enjoy peace and walking with him. Do you know how God brings you peace? He helps us let go of the things of this world that do not matter.

Things we fight so hard to keep, and he allows us to grab a hold of things that will last for all of eternity, that will never fade away, but are for those who rest in Christ. Much as of our life is a struggle and fight and conflict for things that ultimately we will forever lose. But the things that are in Christ, as we think towards heavenward, will always rest for us for eternity. Satan seeks to destroy. And so the answer is this. What are the question? Is this what do you do if you’re in conflict with God? Bible shares his desire. He says, therefore, submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. But in James verses eight to to ten of the same chapter, he then describes for us, how is it that we walk with God in the midst of conflict, knowing in this world we have this old nature and this new nature that wants to or should rest in him? How do we handle this conflict? In verse eight I would say this draw near to God and he will draw near to you. I mean, we just pause and answer this question within our lives. Do you love Jesus? Do you love Jesus more than you love the things of this world? Do you love Jesus enough to give your life over to Christ and trust in him? Do you love Jesus? Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

Then he says this cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep, and let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. James then starts to address our sin and that’s not fun to talk about. It doesn’t fill seats on Sunday. Sin sin sin sin sin. Why in the world would James talk about sin? I mean, Jesus forgives us of sin. Why bring it up? And Christ? Christ took care of it. Now, I would tell us that the Bible also tells us that while Christ took care of it, confession’s good for the soul. If we confess our sins, he’s faithful and just to cleanse us of all of our unrighteousness before him. First John chapter one talks about that for us and especially verse nine. You find a place not only to acknowledge your failures, but to find healing so that you can move forward in your relationship with God. You know, one of the beautiful passages in scriptures for me is in the Book of Psalms. I’m just going to read this to you. It’s in Psalms 51 and Psalms 32. I’m going to read out of Psalms 32. Both of these psalms are believed to be God’s or David’s response to God in relationship with him. After sinning against with Bathsheba. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and they had a kid. You know, the story also committed murder along the lines to cover up the adultery that he had committed.

His kid ultimately dies in childbirth. David keeps running away from God in his sin, and then finally, he gets to a place to recognize just how healthy confession is for the soul. And he says this in Psalm 32 listen, blessed is the one whose transgressions is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts. No inequity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my my bones wasted away through my groaning. All day long. For day and night. Your hands were heavy upon me. My strength was dried up. As by the heat of summer I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found. Surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me. You preserve me from trouble. You surround me with shouts of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. David’s response. Yeah. God, I tried the hiding thing from you. But ultimately what I discovered is that resting in you was my source of strength. In our lives. We tend to get in the place because of sin.

I think the world just weighs on us enough that we don’t recognize the significance of it. The church and living its lifestyle is typically just a couple steps from the corruption of what the world has lived in and seeing that day in and day out on TV in our lives being played out, we we begin to embrace things of the world and we undermine just the significance of sin within our lives. We tend to look at our relationship with Jesus, saying, you know what? A little sin is not going to hurt. And we tend to say to ourselves that, that we can justify it. And, and I can explain in a way, it’s okay if I do this. It’s okay if I disobey God. God, God really wants me happy, ultimately. So if happiness means I disobey, then then happiness is what God wants because God’s okay with a little sin. He’s okay with that. And so we justify it. James brings us to a place to say this, that it’s not appropriate. It’s not healthy. It’s not good in the conflict that you have. It will not bring you joy in your relationship with Christ, because Jesus has set you apart for himself and he desires to share you with no other. It said in verse five, if you paid attention to it, that that Jesus is jealous for His Spirit within you. God completely wants you for himself. And anything apart from him is not satisfying to him.

And undermining the significance of sin is it’s a mockery of him. And that sounds harsh, but let me bring us to a place of joy. First, let me say this. It’s important to stop and say to us and recognition of sin that my sinful nature is the very reason Christ had to die. That weighs on your heart. That sobers me up. The things that I justify knowing that Jesus says they’re important to obey. The things that I choose to do despite that. Jesus died for that. And Jesus desires to take that nature within me and transform it into him. And so if I just justify it or pacify it, or look over it or explain it away, I’m not giving Christ the opportunity. Transform my soul. Can I tell you on the back end of that what God doesn’t want for you to walk guilty in sin, and that’s good, right? Christ has set you free. When Jesus hung on the cross and said to Telestai, when you put your faith in him, it was finished. Christ paid for it all. Your relationship with him is new and you can enjoy that for eternity. Don’t live in what you were living, who you are in light of who Christ is. That’s what Jesus desires to do within you. But he also wants us to bring us in a place to recognize. And it’s this important. Sin does this to your life. It destroys you and the maturity and growth that God has called you to in a walk with him.

But also your sinful nature can trap you in the past. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren in revelation chapter 12, knowing who you were apart from Christ, Satan can bring that up in any moment and reminding you, you know what you’re not worth? Jesus. And to that we say we know. We know that we’re sinful and we know what what sin has done in our lives. We know how it’s brought us apart from Christ, and we don’t undermine the conflict that we have with God. We acknowledge the severity of sin. But do you know why we do that? Not to guilt ourselves and not to to rest in the past, because in the severity of that sin that we’ve lived in, we see the beauty of who Christ is resting in our lives. When we magnify the power of sin, we beautify the glory of God’s mercy and grace reigning over us. It’s never to underplay what’s taking place, to take Christ to the cross, to die on my behalf, but I just simply acknowledge what I’ve done apart from him. So in that moment, I can come before Jesus and say, Jesus, I know, I know what this has done before you, and I’m not downplaying it, but God, thank you. Thank you for this grace that has just set me free. And that conflict that I have fought. Now I’m acknowledging it before him.

And now my my heart. My soul becomes refreshed in that beauty. I don’t want to downplay sin. Rather, I want to acknowledge it, to elevate the beauty of who Christ is in my life. I am a sinner and Christ is glorious, and he is transforming me and the things of this world. As I consider the beauty of who Christ is just fade away and its worthlessness as I run to him. We don’t want to overplay sin, but recognize the importance of what sin has done in our relationship with Christ so we can see the beauty of God’s grace resting upon us. And so he says this to us. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you. The answer was never found in you, and your peace is never found with you, and joy is never found with you. You were never created for you. You’re created for Christ. And when you get to that place where you recognize. No wonder I’ve got all of this conflict. I’ve looked at myself as the solution. My prayer life has just been selfish. If I’ve even had it, and I’ve never even given Christ the opportunity, I’ve filled my mind with things of this world, and I’ve downplayed the things that I’ve done. And I don’t have joy in walking with Jesus because I’ve loved the world so much. But. But Jesus desires his spirit jealously within my life. And if I could just come to a place where I realize it’s not about my power, it’s not about proving my worth to God.

It’s not about anything that I’ve done, but what Christ has done before for me. I can come to him with empty hands because I have nothing to offer to begin with. And I can say in humility before Christ, Christ, I’m looking at this and I’m looking at your cross, and I’m seeing everything that you’ve done on my behalf. And I’m saying, God, I’m sorry for all of this, but I recognize the beauty of what you want to do before me. And so, God, I’m humbling myself. And knowing God, your door is open for me. I’m just asking once again, God, that you just embrace me, that I can enjoy you both now and for all of eternity. My joy complete in you. And in that. And that our soul finds peace. In Psalm 51 and verse 17, David and I sin with Bathsheba again he says this A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise. When you come to God in brokenness of your sin, do you know what it says to Jesus? You finally understand. You finally understand what sin is doing in my relationship with you. And the things that you were, you thought were so important to live in this world, you finally realized just how much it separated me from my joy that I want to share with you.

Listen, God doesn’t want you to live forever in that brokenness, but he does desire for you to come in a broken spirit, to acknowledge before him the beauty of who he is, that he understands as you understand just what the world does to your life in him. Don’t justify it. But enjoy him. Verse 11 and 12, let me share these last thoughts with us. Won’t be finished. Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it. There is only one lawgiver and judge, the one who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you who judge your neighbor? Let me tell you what I think is happening here. People are getting through this passage and they’re thinking how great they are by their walk with God. Like, um, they’re, you know, Joe’s more worldly than I am, so I’m good, and I’m judge Joe’s bad, man. And so they’re just judging, like they’re looking at these passages thinking, man, I am great. And James is coming here and he’s saying, no, if you start to think you’re great, you’ve completely missed God’s grace. God’s grace is the only thing that ever makes anyone good in Christ. And we all wage war against sin and we all fall. We all fall short, and no one’s better than anyone else.

We all are fighting this battle together. And just because you feel like you’re being more successful, living it in these moments doesn’t make you better than someone else. And it doesn’t mean that you’re always going to be successful at it. In fact, the bride that you’re expressing right now already demonstrates that you’ve fallen. No one’s better than anyone else. Bible does tell us this that that though James is talking about judging, he’s saying this don’t use judgment as a way to look down upon someone else. But the Bible does encourage our ability to have discernment. It’s good to know right and wrong within our lives because you’ve got to live it right. It’s good to discern things that are healthy and not healthy to to evaluate. According to Philippians one and verse nine. Examine our own selves according to Matthew chapter seven and verse 1 to 5. But the Bible also tells us that if someone we know is sinning rather than judging them and look down upon them because of sin, the Bible says this if the if if the truth about a brother is harmful, then we should cover it in love and not repeat it in first Peter four eight if he continues to sin, he needs to understand just just what the magnitude of sin is doing. So. So go to him in Matthew chapter 18 and verse 15 and talk to him about it. And if he doesn’t listen, take someone else along with you.

And talk to him about it. We don’t look down upon each other, but we’re here to encourage one another. We talk about the tension within the body of Christ. This verse always comes to mind with me. This is the last verse I’m sharing with you. He says, therefore I, Paul, writing this as a prisoner, he says, therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, and with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. You know what Paul says this. Believe it or not, we don’t always get along. We have conflict within our hearts and it’s expressed within our lives. Through relationships. We have conflicts. Church Paul writes this to the church. We can’t all get along, at least not all the time, because we don’t always agree. But Paul gives us an attitude within this passage of Scripture that’s important to carry. Gentleness, humility, patience, tolerance for one another in love, and being diligent. This thought is this that it literally causes you to sweat to work at this. And the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. Meaning, when Jesus is with us, there isn’t conflict. There is peace. We have tension in our lives. It’s an indication within us that somewhere Jesus isn’t being made known.

Whether it be on our end of a relationship, our end, or someone else’s end of a relationship, if there is tension. What Christ is about is peace. And the unity of the spirit is the spirit that works with among us, but our spirit as it connects to God and unity with him, that that triangular relationship between church and one another to God just being unison with him, all based on maturity. So let me close with this thought. When it comes to maturity, what is your prayer life say as your in your relationship with God? Is it worldly? Is it Christ centric? Have you recognized who Christ is in light of who we are? And in saying to us that Jesus earnestly desires His Spirit within us, he is selfish over us? Are we soberly coming to him in our sin, not to make much of our sin, but to make much of the glory and grace of Christ that we we say to ourselves and not justification of our sin, but in honor of who he is, that what Jesus has done is worth far more than anything this world has to offer. We acknowledge the beauty of what he’s done on the cross and walk and love in unity with him, magnifying his grace together and encouraging the body of Christ. There is conflict, and in Christ there is peace. And Jesus desires for us to rest in the unity of love and the bond of peace as we come to him.

Taming the Tongue

Life Plans