James 4: Purify Your Hearts
Friendship with the World
Back in chapter 1, we read that God commands us to put away the things of this world, and receive His word. Here in chapter 4, James builds on this statement. He tells us that we cannot be of this world and a child of God at the same time. We must make the choice (see above paragraphs) of who we are going to serve. We cannot serve two masters.
He Gives More Grace
When we sin and mess up, God gives us abundant grace. He doesn’t give us what we deserve, that is death for our wrongs, but He gives us more than we deserve, the promise of eternal life for those who serve Him till the end. What an amazing God we serve!
Submit to God
There is nothing in this world that gives as much comfort as this statement does: draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. There’s just something about the thought of having the Creator of the universe, the all mighty Father, near me at all times. James also says that when we submit ourselves to God, and resist the devil, he will flee. God is near us at all times, helping us resist the devil. He has no chance of taking us when we are near to God.
Cleanse and Purify
How can a human, full of imperfections, draw near to the All Mighty? The end of verse 8 tells us: cleanse your hands, and purify your heart. Psalm 51 gives us a perfect example of David, crying out to God to cleanse his heart, to make him pure. In order to draw near to God, we must keep our end of the bargain, and get rid of the filthiness and sin in our lives (1:21).
If the Lord Wills
Sometimes, us humans get way too big for our britches. We think we have all the security in the world. We make all these plans for our lives, because we think we know we have a tomorrow. Let me tell you something: you’re not promised a tomorrow. You’re not promised another minute of life. Before we make all these definite plans, let’s remember that it’s all in God’s hands. If the Lord wills, we will do this or that. This life isn’t in your control. Let God be in control.