At War With Ourselves—Day 5

By on Dec 14, 2018 in At War With Ourselves | 0 comments

At War With Ourselves—Day 5 James 4: 1-3 “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?  Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.  You are envious 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 with wrong motives, so you may spend it on your pleasures.”  As we conclude our weekly devotional series, James gives the reason God does not answer the prayer request of those who are governed by their pleasure, “they ask with the wrong motives.” I once overheard someone saying, “I do not consult with God about most things because what I want, He does not want it for me. So, I get it for myself.” If the truth is told, many of us avoid praying and waiting for God to answer our prayers because what...

At War With Ourselves—Day 4

By on Dec 13, 2018 in At War With Ourselves | 0 comments

At War With Ourselves—Day 4 James 4: 1-3 “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.  You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.”  Let us begin today’s devotional meditating with this thought: How do we advance God’s purpose for our marriages, congregations or our lives in general contradicting our message. We say, ‘Come to Jesus; he will transform and bless your life.’ And the world is asking, ‘What has he changed in your life?’ Roger Ellsworth writes, “On the night before he was crucified, the Lord Jesus spoke these words to his disciples: ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’ (John 13:34–35). But what if the world does not see that love? There is only one conclusion left for the world to...

At War With Ourselves—Day 3

By on Dec 12, 2018 in At War With Ourselves | 0 comments

At War With Ourselves—Day 3 James 4: 1-3 “Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?”  We begin today’s devotional looking at the audience to which James is writing. James’ audience is manifesting the opposite of what they were professing. Instead of peace, they were at war with each other. Go figure, those who proclaim to have the Prince of Peace are unable to have peace with fellow believers. It is interesting that James does not cite faulty thinking or certain doctrinal beliefs; he does not address any particular theological issues—documented and often acceptable reasons many have claimed to part ways with others. James goes right to the heart of the issue, “Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?” The Greek word used for pleasure is hēdŏnē, hay-don-ay; the overall expression of this word is the feeling that...

At War With Ourselves—Day 2

By on Dec 11, 2018 in At War With Ourselves | 0 comments

At War With Ourselves—Day 2 James 4: 1-3 “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?” We begin today’s devotional meditating on James’ question. “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?” For many, with all disputes it is normal to look for external causes as the source of our problems. Our society has made a shift from being responsible for our actions to blaming others for our problems. Let us remember, it is impossible to effectively address conflicts if we refuse to look critically into the actual source of the struggles. One thing is for certain, if we continue to avoid the source of our quarrels and conflicts we never arrive at a real solution to our dilemmas. Whatever superficial solution we put in place will only work as a temporary fix. Consider James’ choice of words: quarrels and conflicts. In Greek the word for...

At War With Ourselves

By on Dec 10, 2018 in At War With Ourselves | 0 comments

At War With Ourselves James 4: 1-3 “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?  Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.  You are envious 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 with wrong motives, so you may spend it on your pleasures.”  I often joke about the early years of my marriage and how my wife and I behaved like Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in the movie, “The War of the Roses.” She could not stand me. I did not like her. Two people married and constantly feuding with each other; that was my wife and me. I am grateful that my marriage did not suffer the same fate as the Roses’ in the movie—death. We fought in the morning, the evening and sometimes in the middle of the...