Friday, March 01, 2013

Bible Study: NT Proverbs - James - Chapter 4

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of James, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 4 of the book of James. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

Our worth comes from God alone!

4:1-3 – battling with believers is bad.

4:1 – Think of the last argument you had. What caused it?

4:2,3 – common problems in prayer:
not asking
asking for the wrong things
asking for the wrong reasons

4:2 – When you pray, what do you ask for? Do you receive it?

4:3,4 – a pleasurable life…
it’s not bad to have it.
We shouldn’t sacrifice obedience to God for it.

4:3 – What is your motivation when you ask God for something? What do you ask for? Whom does it benefit?

4:4-6 – The cure for evil desires is humility.

4:4 – We are adulterous because we aren’t devoted to the Lord.

4:5 – we humans have a tendency to envy.

Inside Christians lives the Spirit of a jealous God, not envy.

4:6 – Seek to be humble.

4:7-10 – Commands:
submit to God.
resist the devil.
Draw near to God.
Cleanse your hands…purify your hearts.
Have sincere sorrow for your sins. (mourn, weep)
Be humble.

4:7 – God has already defeated Satan.

The devil will flee if we only resist him through the power of the Holy Spirit as we submit to God. Memorize this verse and obey it!

4:8 – God won’t force us into His arms. But He only waits for us to begin approaching Him before He runs to us and gathers us up!

Our hearts make us double-minded.

4:9 – We grieve when we are unclean and absent from God’s presence.

4:10 – humble – praotes.

God’s purpose in lifting us up is to glorify Himself.

4:11-12 – don’t judge a brother.

4:11 – James addresses his audience as brothers again. He warns us not to speak badly of one another. Slander is murder according to Jesus in Matthew 5:21-22.

4:12 – We have no right to judge. Only God does.

4:13-16 – plan ahead, but hold your plans loosely.

4:13 – Are you this succinct and rigid in your planning? Do you pray over your plans? You should.

4:14 – We are vapor…mist. Consider this when God seems to be taking a long time in answering your prayers.

4:15 – Pray to know God’s will.

4:16 – What does James mean by “boast and brag”?

4:17 – doing wrong is sin, but so is not doing right.

Do you know the good you ought to do? Do you do it?

• The book of James is called the “Proverbs of the New Testament”. What pearl of wisdom have you harvested from today’s reading, and how will you apply it to your life?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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