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art 3

The book of James is all about a faith lived out, a faith expressed in the way we behave, our behaviour the advertisement of what we believe.

We are living billboards declaring that God is real and that God is love and the way we live has a massive influence on those around us.   It has been quoted here before someone will read the Bible or come to a church they will read our life first, we are the first Bible most people read.   What a challenge.

In James 4:8 we have one of the most familiar and popular verses of the book.  If there was a bible verse countdown of greatest hits of the bible James 4:8 would be on it.  I share it almost every time I have a mic at church.  But there is a part B to James 4 that I never read out loud.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  James 4:8-10

 

James is going after Christians who say they love God with their mouths but live life their own way.

He’s going after Christians who use their perseonality defaults as excuses for their character flaws.

He’s going after Christians who pick and chose what parts of the Bible they accept and believe in.

He’s going after those who look great on Sunday but whose workmates wouldn’t even know they’re Christians on Monday.

He’s going after those who think they’re fine living one foot in the world and one foot in the church.

He’s going after you and me.

 

We live in a world that lives for self – if it feels good do it – and that pushes against the boundaries that God sets.

We live in a world that has made sin so accessable and acceptable.

In fact if you hold to biblical values you are often branded as bigoted, judemental and narrowminded.

 

But this world is God’s world.  He makes the rules.  Not because He is a kill joy but because of His great love for us.  His boundaries are to bless us, to bless our relationships, to bless our future, to bless us with wholeness and the peace that comes from right living.

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