100314 How To Live Your Faith 14 Putting An End To Conflict James 4 1 12


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Sermon 14 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 4:1-12) presented March 14, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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  • Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of New Bern, N.C., hold the world record for life in wedded bliss: 85 years. He's 104, and she's 101.On their May 13 anniversary, they will join an elite club: the longest marriages on record. The Fishers dabbled in social media by tweeting their secrets to a long, happy marriage for Valentine's Day last month.They credit their marital success to faith in God, a loving family and few big fusses over their long marriage.Former record holder Percy Arrowsmith said you can boil down a successful marriage to two words: “Yes Dear”
  • War of the Whiskers (England vs. France) 1152 – 1453 300 year long conflict between France and England, referring to the refusal of Louis VII of France to shave his newly acquired beard (i.e. "whiskers") he had grown while fighting during the Crusades. Eleanor of Aquitaine, his wife, demanded that he shave the beard and when he refused she annulled their marriage and married Henry II of England. This quarrel led to a war between the two nations over English territory in France. The final disputes had not been resolved until the end of the Hundred Year's War (1337- 1453), thus giving this pseudo war a time span of 301 years.The War of the Oaken Bucket (Italy) 1325-37Soldiers from the city of Modena in northern Italy invaded Bologna to steal a brown oak bucket. Bologna went to war with Modena to take back their bucket. The two cities fought for 12 years and thousands of lives were lost. Modena won the war; the people of Bologna never got their bucket back.The War of Jenkins' Ear (Great Britain vs. Spain) 1739-43Captain Robert Jenkins appeared in Parliament holding the remains of his ear in his hand. The Spanish had cut it off after boarding his ship in the West Indies, for they did not want English traders doing business in their American colonies. The war went on for four years.There was no clear winner; it ended in a draw.The War of the Fleeing Wife (Africa vs. Great Britain) 1879Husbands and wives often disagree. In this case, a marital disagreement resulted in war. Umblana, the wife of the Zulu chief Sitlay, left him and hid in British territory. When the Zulus found her, they shot her. England declared war on the Zulus for crossing into their territory. The Zulu forces were crushed by the British.The War of the Stray Dog (Greece vs. Bulgaria) 1925When the dog of a Greek soldier wandered across the border into Macedonia, the soldier ran after it and was shot by a Bulgarian guard. The Greek troops became so angry that they invaded Bulgaria. More than 50 men were killed before the League of Nations intervened and stopped the war.
  • 100314 How To Live Your Faith 14 Putting An End To Conflict James 4 1 12

    1. 1.
    2. 2. The World’s Longest Marriage<br />Herbert & Zelmyra Fisher <br />Married May 13, 1924<br />Ages: 104 & 101<br />Tweeted their secrets of success on Valentine’s Day:<br />Faith in God<br />Loving family<br />A few big fusses<br />
    3. 3. People will fight about anything!<br />War of the Whiskers (1152-1453)<br />War of the Oaken Bucket (1325-1337)<br />War of Jenkins’ Ear (1739-1743)<br />War of the Fleeing Wife (1879)<br />War of the Stray Dog (1925)<br />
    4. 4. War is a fact of life<br />In spite of treaties, UN, & nuclear weapons<br />Not only between nations<br />Also between people on almost every level<br />The ideal is not the reality<br />Psalms 133:1 NIV How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!<br />James says there are three wars going on<br />Also how these wars can be stopped<br />
    5. 5. At War with Each Other <br />James 4:1 NIV What causes fights and quarrels among you? …<br />James 4:11-12 NIV Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. (12) There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?<br />
    6. 6. The early church had its share of conflict<br />Corinth: members competing in public meetings & suing each other in court <br />Galatia: believers were “biting and devouring” one another (Galatians 5:15)<br />Ephesus: Paul had to admonish them to cultivate spiritual unity (Ephesians 4:1-16)<br />Philippi: two women could not get along with each other (Philippians 4:1-3)<br />
    7. 7. James mentions several kinds of conflict among the saints<br />Class wars (James 2:1-9) <br />Rich man gets attention, poor man is ignored<br />Rich man is honored, poor man is disgraced<br />Employment wars (James 5:1-6)<br />Rich withholding wages from poor<br />Laborers not getting fair wages<br />Church fights (James 1:19-20; 3:13-18)<br />Jostling over status as teachers & leaders<br />Selfish ambition ruled, not spiritual submission<br />Personal wars (James 4:11-12)<br />Rivalry led to criticism of one another<br />
    8. 8. Christians should not be at war with one another<br />John 17:20-21 NIV My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, (21) that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.<br />We belong to the same family; trust the same Savior; indwelt by the same Spirit<br />Why are Christians at war with one another?<br />James: because of a second war that is going on<br />
    9. 9. At War with Ourselves <br />James 4:1-3 NIV What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? …<br />
    10. 10. The war in the heart contributes to wars in the church! <br />James 3:14-16 NIV But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. ... (16) For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.<br />
    11. 11. Selfish desires are dangerous things<br />They lead to wrong actions <br />James 4:2 NIV You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.<br />They even lead to wrong praying <br />James 4:3 NIV When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.<br />
    12. 12. People at war within because of selfish desires are always unhappy<br />Not thankful for blessings they have, but complain about blessings they don’t have<br />Cannot get along with others because they envy others for what they have & do<br />Always looking for that “magic something” that will change their lives<br />The real problem is within their own hearts<br />James: the real reason we are at war with ourselves & consequently with each other<br />
    13. 13. At War with God <br />James 4:4-10 NIV You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. …<br />
    14. 14. Root cause of every war, internal & external, is rebellion against God<br />At Creation, there was perfect harmony<br />But sin entered the world & led to conflict<br />Sin is lawlessness (1John 3:4) & lawlessness is rebellion against God<br />How do we declare war against God? <br />By being friendly with God’s enemies<br />James names three enemies we must not fraternize with if we want peace with God<br />
    15. 15. Enemy #1: The world <br />James 4:4 NIV You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.<br />
    16. 16. A Christian gets involved with the world gradually<br />First, there is “friendship with the world” <br />James 4:4 NIV … don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.<br />Friendship leads to loving the world <br />1 John 2:15-17 NIV Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. …<br />
    17. 17. A Christian gets involved with the world gradually<br />This makes it easy to conform to the world <br />Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. …<br />In the end – condemned with the world<br />1 Corinthians 11:31-32 NIV But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. (32) When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.<br />
    18. 18. Enemy #2:The flesh <br />James 4:1 NIV What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?<br />James 4:5 NIV Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?<br />
    19. 19. Living to please our flesh means declaring war on God <br />Romans 8:6-7 NIV The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.<br />
    20. 20. Enemy #3: The devil <br />James 4:6-7 NIV … "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (7) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.<br />
    21. 21. God wants us to trust His grace; Devil wants us to depend on selves<br />Satan is the author of all “do-it-yourself” spiritual enterprises<br />He inflates our egos & encourages us to do things our way<br />We have too many celebrities & not enough servants in the church<br />We need a good dose of “humble pie”<br />Romans 7:18 NIV I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.<br />
    22. 22. Here are three enemies that want to turn us away from God<br />The world, the flesh & the devil<br />Christ has delivered us from them, but they still attack us<br />How can we overcome them? <br />How can we be friends of God & enemies of the world, the flesh & the devil? <br />James gives three keys to ending conflict<br />
    23. 23. 1. Submit to God <br />James 4:7 NIV Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.<br />
    24. 24. Hupotasso - military term that means “get into your proper rank” <br />When a private acts like the general, there is going to be trouble! <br />Unconditional surrender is the only way to complete victory<br />If there is any area of the life kept back from God, there will always be battles<br />This is why uncommitted Christians cannot live with themselves or with others<br />
    25. 25. 2. Come near to God <br />James 4:8 NIV Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.<br />
    26. 26. From A.W. Tozer essay, “Nearness Is Likeness” <br />“The more we are like God, the nearer we are to God. I may be sitting in my living room with my Siamese cat on my lap, and my wife may be twenty feet away in the kitchen; yet I am nearer to my wife than to the cat because the cat is unlike me. We have very little in common.”<br />
    27. 27. 3. Humble yourselves before God <br />James 4:9-10 NIV Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. (10) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.<br />
    28. 28. God hates the sin of pride <br />Proverbs 6:16-17 NIV There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: (17) haughty eyes …<br />He will chasten the proud until he is humbled<br />We tend to treat sin too lightly, even to laugh about it – hence: “Change your laughter to mourning”<br />One mark of humility is facing the seriousness of sin & dealing with our disobedience<br />Psalms 51:17 NIV The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.<br />
    29. 29. If we obey these three instructions<br />Submit to God, come near to God & humble ourselves before God<br />God will draw near, cleanse us & forgive us<br />We will not be at war with God, ourselves, or others<br />Isaiah 32:17 NIV The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.<br />Turn your life over to the Prince of Peace<br />Isaiah 9:6 NIV For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.<br />