Please read James 4:1-12
Key Verse : You 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. James 4:4; ESV
Is it safe to say that in the world today there is a great deal of things which we, in the older generation, find to be sinful and yet, the younger generation may find not sinful? Is this just me or have you noticed that this world’s view has gotten more liberal (meaning the more is permissible and not meant in the political sense) and that those in this older generation finds is more out of control? How many of us wish that the mindset of today’s younger generation would go back to having improved morals and ethics and to be more biblically grounded in their faith? If this is so, what are we, as the older generation doing to change this culture for the better? Are we fighting for our families to be more spiritually minded or are we showing them that church, faith and spirituality are simply a suggestion? Are we leading by example that our faith and more importantly, our belief in Jesus Christ being who He claims to be is the foundation of our existence or that “if we have time for it” we should consider having this in our lives? There is a great deal of questions which we seek answers to, and James helps us to focus on the issues of today.
James points out the leading cause of worldliness: selfish desires and attitudes – vs. 1-3. Our passions drive us to do things we never expected to do; we let impulses and passions move us to fulfill desires which we see others having and desire it for ourselves. And if those passions are strong enough, we will give up everything for them. James shares that we would even murder for them! We fight and quarrel over things which have clear biblical boundaries and moral guidelines; yet we will rationalize them and debate their place in our lives. A man having an affair will share that their wives are not meeting their needs or the woman having one might say her husband pays no attention to them. People will loot stores during a riot and believe they are justified in acting out in such a manner. People will kill someone over $30 dollars in a robbery so they can get their next fix. They will justify living together before marriage because you have to “make sure they are the right ones”. I had recently done a survey for this message. In this survey, I asked these five questions: 1) Is it right to live together before marriage? Why/why not? 2) Is pre-marital sex ok? Why/why not? 3) Is it alright to allow assisted suicides for the terminally ill, abortions of unwanted pregnancies, or capital punishment? Why or why not? 4) What are your thought about judging others; considering racial profiling, religious discrimination, etc…? Why/why not? 5) What are your thoughts on this statement: “Have to take care of number one!” Who or what comes first? Four people have commented on this one: 1) 3 out of 4 stated that it is ok to live together, sharing that if they love each, that they want to find out if they will make it as a couple, that they want to get to know them before marriage, and that it is easier to leave a relationship than a marriage. 2) 2 of the 4 said yes to pre-marital sex because of being in love, two others share that the Bible is clear on this (yet one of the two said it was ok to live together before marriage, hummmm! 3) All 4 said no to #3. 4) All 4 said it is not right to judge; however, don’t we all judge someone because of looks, their past, etc?? 5) 1 of the 4 stated you have to take care of yourself first so you can be able to take care of others, the others stated God first, then family, then friends.
I believe the only reason why more didn’t participate in the survey is because they were afraid to answer the questions. In doing so, they would have to admit what they may be participating in is wrong in the eyes of God. If this is true, they would also have to admit they are sinning. So, how then do we change the world and its current mindset?
In order to change the world, James points out we are to change ourselves – Vs. 4-12. James gives us these points to keep us in His favor:
- Be friends with God and not the world – quote from Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore; “If we’re in Christ, the Devil cannot have our souls…For us, eternity is settled.
- Be humble – Don’t be pious to the point where you deceive yourself about righteousness and your ability to fall. Harboring hatred, judging, gossiping, etc… is wrong.
- Submit to God, flee the devil – Allowing God’s will to be yours pushes out Satan’s will for you; you will not fail with God!
- Cleanse our hands (repent)/purify our hearts – Letting God decide what sin is, turn from that sin, seek righteousness in Him.
- Do not speak evil/judge others – This is Satan’s will for us to speak evil and judge; point out their flaws to avoid your own. Love (God’s will) would never do such a thing.
There is too much worldliness taking place; even in the church. If we are true believers, we are to avoid this and seek God’s wisdom. We are called to teach what we know and also live out the examples in our EVERYDAY life; not just on Sunday’s for an hour or two. If we are tired of this world, then let’s change the world to the way God instructs each of us!