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Bible Challenge – James 4

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:7-10

The word humble literally means to not be proud or arrogant. It means having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience. It’s simply understanding that we honestly aren’t as good as we pretend to be. In fact, being humble is the realization that even when we are at our best, it’s still not good enough.

When we humble ourselves before God it means that we realize that when compared to His standards, we don’t match up! That even on our best day, it’s still not good enough because we live in a sinful world. In fact Isaiah said it like this “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.” (Is 64:5)

Ouch right! When we truly are humbled in Gods presence we will see who we really are and how much we need Him. Being Humble is a deep word that many times is easy to say but difficult to truly live out. However, when we are truly humbled it causes us to be broken of our sin and challenges us to deal with temptation differently. When we get to this point of realizing our continual need for God, the Bible says we will be lifted up to a place of honor. Now, we may never experience this honor here on this earth in this kingdom, but one day, when we are with Jesus in His Eternal Kingdom, we will be lifted up and honored.

Here are some questions that I am asking myself today:
1. Am I truly humbled by the presence of God, or has it become a routine?
2. What sin in my life is keeping God at a distance?
3. Were is my heart divided, part worldy/part godly?

Father, help me to have a humble heart so I can truly see who I really am, what is keeping me from having a deeper, stronger relationship with you, break my heart for the things that break yours and let me live in a way that pleases you and encourages others to know you in deeper ways!

Categories: Bible Challenge
  1. Holly Elliott
    September 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Wow – I agree, Dan – James really hits us with the humility stick! And I love your question #2 what sin is keeping God at a distance?

    What struck me in this chapter was how James initially states that the reason for our conflict is our “pleasures” (NAS) or “battles from within” (NIV). And then he ends with a clear definition of sin – “Anyone, then who knows what he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

    So it’s not just those issues we know we struggle with – the “biggies” – rather, it’s the everyday stuff that we overlook! This verse took me on a journey of identifying from yesterday all the things I knew I should do but didn’t do them. The list was long and humbling! It ranged from speeding and being late and to allowing distractions to take me away from what I needed to do, to not calling someone that God had put on my heart (and many, many more!). When sin is defined in this way, only a moment by moment awareness of my actions can keep me on track.

  2. Jackie Sade
    September 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    “If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God” James 4:4

    James says that all of our problems, bad motives, jealousy and anger comes from the evil inside of us. He says that we don’t have what we want because we don’t ask God for it. And when we do, we don’t get it because we have bad motives. Its hard to resist temptation when its all around you. We become slaves to sin when we give in to temptation and conform.

    “God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

    I think that if we spent less time judging others, and more time judging ourselves, we would be better off. Judging other people’s sins doesn’t benefit you or them, so why do it? And judging ourselves helps us to obey God’s law.

    “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17

    And when we obey God’s law, we turn to God. And when we turn to God, we become closer to Him.

    Father, I pray that today you help me obey Your law, and that I will start to judge myself more, and stop judging others. I pray that you will help me to resist temptation, and stop being a slave to sin. I pray that all my motives and acts will be with your word in mind. Lord thank you for today, and thank you for all the people in my life. In Jesus’ name:)

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