Message Monday 8/17/15 – James: The Battle Within

Jon Taylor – Lead Pastor

The book of James is nothing if not practical. In James 3:13-4:10, he gives us a very clear distinction between living by earthly wisdom and living by heavenly wisdom. 

Just look at the differences between two lists James gives us in this passage:
Earthly Wisdom: envy, selfish ambition, earthly, unspiritual, of the devil, results in disorder and every evil practice, causes quarrels and fights in you and among you, you want but don’t get, you kill/hate and covet, you can’t have what you desire, you ask with wrong motives to spend on your own pleasures, leads to friendship with the world and spiritual adultery and leads to hatred towards God, makes you an enemy of God, and makes you prideful.

That’s not a pretty picture and certainly not who I want to be. But that’s what results when I try to get my deep desires met in myself or something in this world or in someone else.

Instead, I need to look to God to meet my deep desires. Here’s how I look when I have Heavenly Wisdom: live a good life, do good deeds in humility, have purity in heart and mind, am peace-loving, considerate, submissive, impartial, sincere, full of mercy and good fruit, I make peace, I see a harvest of righteousness, submission to God, resisting the devil, coming near to God, grieve, mourn and change, humble myself, and am lifted up by God.

I like this list a whole lot better. The choice is ours – will we look to things of this world that I think will meet my deep desires but will always disappoint and leave me empty, or will I look to God to meet my deep desires and have a good life? Just remember, God always gives more grace!

Here are some resources if you’d like to do further work in this area.
The Invitation and Questions for Jesus, both by Tony Stoltzfus.

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