James 3-5

But God Gives a Greater Grace!

What we say, and why we say what we say, in our everyday conversation, is the subject of these chapters in James. Before we go any further, I want you to stop reading this and turn to John 7 and read verses 1-13. In verses 3&4 we read the words of the half-brothers of Jesus. James was one of those brothers. It is clear they had no clue of what was going on. They were only interested in their agenda. Now, compare that to what Jesus had to say in verses 14-24 in Chapter 7 of John.

Jesus taught, in Matthew 15, that what is hidden in our heart proceeds from us in our actions and in our words. In these chapters James is specifically focusing on our words. The source of what we have hidden in our heart ultimately comes from one of two places. They either come from the world or from God. They may well be from a combination of both but when that happens deception happens. Let’s look at going to church for an example. Some people go to church to learn about God because they have put their faith in Him and want to have fellowship with other people who have done the same. Others go to church so they can make business contacts, draw attention to themselves from a captive audience, feel good about themselves, impress others, and so on. The list is endless. This is a way worldliness can enter and corrupt the Church. It is deception. The worst kind of deception is when we deceive ourselves into thinking we are saved by going to church.  

In Chapter 3, and on into Chapter 4, James exposes the conditions that result from a heart set on worldliness. James begins with the desire to be in a position such as a teacher and moves to bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. These often result in quarrels, conflicts rooted in envy, lust, and fights. The ultimate source of these, James tells us, is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. Verse 3:15

Over the years I have seen many fads come and go. Years ago people had to have a “Pet Rock.” Really? What were we thinking? We weren’t thinking, we wanted to be like everyone else and so we had to have what other people had. Fads mean profits to savvy marketers. Now, with social media, fads can move quicker and with greater intensity, and be very harmful.

I am not saying that “Pet Rocks” are evil. What I am saying is that they expose a hunger for something that is within us. James says, “But He Gives a greater grace…” James 4:6a NASB

Beginning with verse 7, of Chapter 4, James tells us how to get our heart in order so we can receive God’s greater grace. As we continue through Chapter 4, and on into Chapter 5, James challenges us to change our priorities from the ways of the world to being humble before God, waiting upon Him, and serving the Lord.

May God grant us wisdom and understanding as we read these chapters.

Greater grace or lesser grace, choose wisely!

Pastor Dave