James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Food For Thought:
In this passage of Scripture, the writer James talks about how there is conflict among the believers. This conflict is causing division. Think about how you have seen the church or believers pulled apart from division. If we remember our true focus—God—this should bring us back together. Think about things in your life that need healing or peace. How can you bring back peace and order to these situations? How can you call upon God to bring back peace and order?
Gracious God, who has filled the world with beauty;
Open our eyes to behold the amazing works of your hands,
that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve
You with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all
things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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