Welcome to DAY 18 of our online Bible study on James!
— Read: James 4:4-6 —
Country music sings about red dirt roads, hard luck, and love lost. Hank Williams’ popular tune croons,
Your cheatin’ heart
Will pine some day
And crave the love
You threw away.
James didn’t have country music, but he could have written a similar tune.
Instead of using rhyming words and a two-step beat, James uses jarring language to rouse believers to a life where actions and beliefs align to create genuine faith.
“Adulteresses” is not a word commonly used by country crooners, but James uses this loaded word to charge Jewish Christians in his epistle. James calls each believer to account:
“Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?”
Previously in this letter James warns about being tossed about in a sea of indecisiveness (James 1: 6-8), and I am convicted because my heart vacillates too often between faithfulness and unfaithfulness to the One who first loved me.
I commit adultery against God when I fail to tend and care for my relationship with Him because I am prone to worldly devices: busyness, comparison, and escapism (social media, TV) that crowd Him out of my day. Prideful, I determine I know a better path than the One who made me, cheating on my Creator. Ignoring the call and correction of the Holy Spirit, I walk out on the Lover of my soul to join hands with the world.
It doesn’t take long for me to figure out that unfaithfulness is void and unfruitful.
Running back to Jesus to be faithful again, I choose to keep my relationship with Him at the forefront. I choose to give Him my time. I hear His assurance and rest in it. I choose to face my present realities knowing He is with me. My worship is motivated by love, and in humility I surrender, ready to align myself with God’s will. My problem is that in my struggle against my sinful nature, I am not perfect, and sometimes I succumb.
Living between the now and the not yet, the struggle continues, and James reminds us that the testing of our faith is good — it develops maturity (James 1:2-4).
Thanks be to God that He continually pursues me.
His Holy Spirit that dwells in me relentlessly calls me to repentance and forgiveness. My salvation is won, my sanctification continues, and because “He gives a greater grace,” I can sing a song of hope and greet each day with new mercies.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
— Diving Deeper —
What does James mean when he says the Spirit
who lives in us yearns jealously?
Why does God desire our undivided devotion?
Share in the comments…