Read James 4:13. (Compare Luke 12:13-21.) How do we balance prudent planning for the future with our need to live each day in expectation of Christ’s imminent coming? How can we avoid the trap of merely building bigger barns?
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It may seem very reasonable to plan a year in advance or even more. Businesses commonly have short-, medium-, and long-range plans. Individuals and families need to save for the future and to make provision […]
While I love being with friends, it does not bother me to be alone. Being alone does not make me lonely. Being misunderstood makes me lonely.
In a youth group I asked the young people what specific things do others not understand about you that you wish they did. An ordinarily quiet group suddenly became very vocal. Everyone wants to be understood. Well not all the time. Sure, when our motives are pure we wish people could understand us, but not so much when […]
All the laws of the Old Testament are from Jesus. They are sometimes called the laws of Moses because they were given through him (2 Chron. 33:8, Neh. 10:29), but it was Jesus who led the Israelites through the wilderness and spoke the Ten Commandments to them at Mount Sinai (see 1 Cor. 10:1-4). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus clarified and amplified the law. He is the Word . . . made flesh (John 1:14), and it is […]
“Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it” (James 4:11, NIV). How does judging others amount to sitting in judgment of the law?
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The initial phrase in James 4:11 that is literally translated “speak against” could include several sins of speech, including slander, bearing false […]
Read for This Week’s Study: James 4:11-17; Acts 17:11; Heb. 4:15-16; Luke 12:13-21; Eccl. 2:15-19; Titus 2:14.
Memory Text: There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:12).
Our attitude toward law, whether God’s law or human’s, affects how we relate to others and even to how we relate to God Himself. Have you noticed that sometimes the rich and famous act as if they are above the law? […]
Vitaliano hated having a house church next door. He decided that when the songs of the saints floated up to his window, he would turn his radio full volume to rock music. That will teach them, he thought. If I disturb their meetings, they’ll find another place to meet, and I won’t have to deal with them in my neighborhood! He played loud music for several months, but the group continued meeting. No one complained. In fact, the […]
Further Study: There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care because they seek to reach the world’s standard. They have chosen its service, accepted its perplexities, adopted its customs. Thus their character is marred, and their life made a weariness. In order to gratify ambition and worldly desires, they wound the conscience, and bring upon themselves an additional burden of remorse. The continual worry is wearing out the life forces. Our Lord desires them to […]
You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.
After getting this far into the book of James, chances are you might be a bit confused. After all, James seems to contradict nearly everything Paul says in the book of Romans. He consistently talks about “works” whereas Paul was the “champion of grace.” However, how can the Bible contradict itself on such a major theological topic? For example, Paul writes in Romans 3:28 that “a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” However, James […]
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7, NRSV). Notice the order of the commands here. If we try to resist the devil in our own strength, what chance of success do we have? When seven Jewish exorcists tried to get a demon out of a possessed man by using the names of Jesus and Paul as a kind of magic formula, the demon-possessed man so overpowered the exorcists that they ran […]
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10 NASB)
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[thought questions for The Humility of Heavenly Wisdom November 11, 2014]
1. “He will exalt you.” Some struggling Christian might read these words by James and say, “Okay. Small price to pay. I’ll humble myself before the Lord, and he’ll make me important in the church—and elsewhere.” Is that the apostle’s intent when he wrote these words—to provide a lesson on how […]
Read James 4:2-4. Why does James call his readers adulterers and adulteresses? See Jer. 3:6-10, Jer. 3:20; Isa. 54:5; Jer. 2:2; Luke 16:13.
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Alluding to the biblical concept of Israel as God’s bride, James likens believers’ going along with worldly customs and being influenced by worldly attitudes as spiritual adultery. In reality, they are choosing a different master and lord.
The next verse, James 4:5, is not easy to understand. Some have called it the most […]