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Summary: We must deal with the conflicts in our relationships.

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Fireproof: Conflict-Source & Solution

From a message preached by Scott Kallem, Pastor of 3rd Baptist in Marion, IL

James 4:1-10

June 21, 2009 FBC, Chester Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker

Introduction

A In James Dobson’s book Love Must be Tough, he tells of a 6th grade teacher who gave her 30 students a writing assignment.

1 Each student was asked to finish this sentence, “I wish...”

a The teacher was expecting answers like “...I had a new bike, gaming system, a dog...”

aa She was shocked that 20 out of 30 students in the class made their response in reference to their own dysfunctional families.

• “I wish my parents wouldn’t fight.”

• “I wish my father would come home. I wish my mom didn’t have a boyfriend.”

• “I wish I got straight A’s so my dad would love me.”

• “I wish I had one mom & dad so the other kids wouldn’t make fun of me.”

• “I wish I had an M-1 rifle so I could shoot those who make fun of me.”

bb She was shocked at the level of conflict these children lived in.

B James 4:1a- What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? James 4:1 (NASB)

1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:1-10 (NASB)

a James is addressing conflicts that lead to battered congregations, split churches; but his words apply just as well to abusive families & broken homes.

b The heart of conflict, whether with God or your spouse, is extremely similar.

2 Let’s look at two steps James gives for dealing with conflicts in our relationships.

I The fight is authentic (v. 1-5) What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?

A James verified that external conflicts invariably arise from internal conflicts within each person.

1 In verse 1b, he writes the source of conflicts/quarrels is from “pleasures.”

a “Pleasures”, from the word hedonon, means the uncontrolled personal desires to fulfill every passion & whim that promises sensual satisfaction & enjoyment.

aa According to 2 Tim. 3:2-4, the origin of the desires to fulfill these pleasures comes from selfishness. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God...2 Tim 3:2-4 (NASB)

bb James says that it’s people’s desires (& pursuit of these desires) that put people at odds /in conflict with each other.

b This conflict was birthed in the Garden at the fall.

aa God gave the first couple everything they would ever need, & yet their selfish desire to have more destroyed all that.

bb The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat , for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." Gen 2:16-17 (NASB)

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