Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thankful Tuesday & James 4

It is Thankful Tuesday and I am trying to gather my thoughts for bible study tonight. (The first Thankful Tuesday can be found here.) I studied different parts of this chapter at different times and need it to all come together and so I thought it would be a good idea to type out all I have learned.

I would say I am thankful for scripture today. I am thankful for it's changing power in my life and that it never ever returns void! I know this is soo much information but I truly feel like I just scratched the surface! God is good!

A scripture that I came across this weekend at the conference was: 
Psalm 50:14-15 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
 and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
   I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." My actions, sacrifices toward God, the things I give up to be closer to Him or o do His will mean nothing unless I am thankful. Thankful that they do bring me into a closer relationship with Him and that His joy is where I find my joy.

On a totally different note, here is my baby doll today with her mom's sunglasses on. I am thankful for her too of course.

James 4
 1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.  

 -Do these feelings not come from selfish desires. My must trust Him to give us what we really need and not what someone else has that we want. (McArthur)
-They come about because you want your own way and fight for it deep inside yourselves. (Life App Bible)
-Church conflict sometimes stems from from passionate desires for worldly pleasures that mark unbelievers (and therefore we have no business wanting!)
-I am reminded too though that our enemy is not flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) and that many times in my own life I see him at work to pin me against someone or someone against me when the whole issue is pitted in a lie he planted in one of our heads. 
-John 13:33-34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet 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 wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 
-Philippians 1:27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
-2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. 

Questions to ask myself:
*) Do I have any wrong feelings toward anyone in the church that would hinder unity in the body?
    and if so, do I need to go and talk with them?

2b You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

-seeking things for your own pleasures and not to glorify God
-you don't ask because you know it's selfish
-True joy, peace, happiness, meaning, and hope, and fulfillment in life only come from God. Unbelievers and sometimes believers are unwilling to ask for them on His terms- we refuse to submit to God and to acknowledge our dependence on Him. (This commentary was written strictly for unbelievers but I see an application for believers as well who are not living for God. Which I myself am the guiltiest!!)
-Do you seek God's approval for what you already plan to do? 
1 John 3:21-22 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God, And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.

*) What do I need to be praying diligently about today?

4You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

-McArthur says, "James has in view here professing Christians who outwardly are associated with church but hold deep affection for the evil world system. 
-friendship- love in a sense of strong emotional attachment, seeking pleasure at other's expense or at the expense of obeying God.
-Those with deep intimate longing for things of the world give evidence that they are not redeemed:
- 1 John 2:15-17-Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
-Romans 12:22 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

*) Asking God to show me where I am friends with the world today. If there is anything He wants me to get rid of in my life?

5Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"?  

We are all fallen and are bent toward ungodly things such as jealousy. (McArthur)

*) Am I jealous in any way of someone? 

6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says,"God opposes (or resists) the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (from Proverbs 3:34 and 1 Peter 5:5)

-His grace is greater than the power of sin, the flesh, the world, and Satan!!!! 
Romans 5:20 But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God's unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,
-We can be released from the evil desires mentioned in verses 1-5 by humbling ourselves. 
- Resist- the meaning of this word in original language is to rage in battle against
-These are opposites: self centered verses humble 
-Bowing in humility before God means recognizing that our worth comes from Him alone.
-To be humble involves leaning on His power and guidance

*) Where are there seeds of pride in my life?
*) How can I humble myself today before Him?

7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

-Submit= to line up under
-Submit is defined:
Matthew 10:38"And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me."
-Resist= take your stand against
-The only weapon we have is the sword of the spirit (The Word of God) mentioned in Ephesians 6 which is our defense against Satan allowing us to resist. 
-All people are under the Lordship of Christ or of Satan, there is no middle ground. (McArthur) 

*) What issue do I need to look up scripture for to combat Satan in his attacks against me?
*) Is there any area of my life that I have not submitted to him?

8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

- Draw near- pursuing an intimate relationship with Him.
-There are 5 ways mentioned here to on how to get close to God:
1) Humble Yourselves (vs 7)
-yield to His authority and will, commit your life to Him, give Him control, be willing to follow Him.
2) Resist the Devil (vs 7)
-use the word of God to fight Him
-rid yourselves of things that quench the Holy Spirit in you 
3) Wash your hands and purify your hearts
-stay "clean" before the Lord with continual confession of sin (1 John 1:9) and ridence of things that He tells you to rid yourself of in order to make you look more like Him
4) Let their be sorrow and deep grief for your sin
-be afflicted, wretched, miserable ( Mcarthur)
Psalm 51:17My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
2 Corinthians 7:10For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].-no matter how big or small in our eyes. sin is sin and hurts God and separates us from Him. If there is no sorrow for sin, it is likely to happen again. Godly sorrow brings repentance. (a change in the mind) 2 Corinthians 7:10
5) Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up.
-no necessarily in this world but possible just in heaven when given rewards according to the motives of your heart 
 “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10 (NLT)
-but some are "lifted up" here on earth (examples: Daniel, Joseph) 

*) Is there any sin that is hindering my walk with God, any sin I laugh over instead of mourn over?

 11Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.

-slander or defame
-James is not saying not to confront sin in others if led by the Holy Spirit but he is condemning careless, derogatory, critical, slanderous accusations against each other. (McArthur)
-Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off [from me]; he who has a haughty look and a proud and arrogant heart I cannot and I will not tolerate.
-Proverbs 10:18 He who hides hatred is of lying lips, and he who utters slander is a [self-confident] fool.
-Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
-Proverbs 17:9 He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.
-Proverbs 26:20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases.
-Ephesians 4:31Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

*) Do I have a problem slandering? 

12 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

-God gave the law. He alone has the authority to judge and to save people from their sins.
-when we judge instead of love we are breaking the law and therefore saying we are better than it.
-Matthew 22:37-40 "And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets."

*) Have I currently put myself as a judge over someone else's life?

 13Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— 14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

-I always remember my grandfather saying, "Lord willing we will....." :)
-God alone knows the future
Psalm 103:15-16 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.
-A true Christian submits his plans to the Lordship of Christ. (McArthur) and submits changes in his plans to the Lordship of Christ!
-Live for today, as if it was your last.

*) Do I ask God to bless plans I have already made or do I need to lay all of my plans before Him and ask Him to direct my steps....every commitment, every decision.

17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

-Addressees sins of omission
-If we are not doing what we should be doing we will not shine in the darkness:

 Matthew 5:14-16a "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, ..." 
-"The sin of omission is just as harmful to our spiritual well being as the sins we know not to do."-Jeff Petrie
-Example: It is a sin to lie but it is also a sin to know the truth and not tell it! It is a sin to gossip about someone of course but it is also a sin to avoid someone when you know they need friendship. 
-Sins of commission and omission involve knowing the word of God and listening to the spirit of God in your life. 

*) What am I not doing that I know the Lord wants me to do?

The only things that will matter after this vapor of a life is the Word of God and the souls of men. I have to ask myself every day if that is also the goal of my day today!! 

If you made it to the end, I hope you have a good Thankful Tuesday! What are you thankful for?

1 comment:

Beth Ann said...

I love that you write these posts- it's almost always something God is dealing with in me. You write them so practically, and it's great having a little mini Bible study in the middle of the day :)