Summary: This is a sermon that focuses on where our hearts really are... with God or with the World.
James 3:13-4:4, 7-8a
Who is wise and understanding among you? By their good life let them show their works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, and without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
What causes wars, and what causes fights among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. …
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
"God and Google"
The internet is an amazing thing. Anything you could ever want to see… anything you could ever want to know… anything you could ever want to buy… right within the reach of your finger. *click* *click*
And to make the process even easier… they have the latest and greatest search engines to find all of these things for you. There is webcrawler, yahoo search, msn search, ask.com… and on and on. And one of the most popular of all of these is google. I have a personal theory that google is popular because people like to say “google.” Yeah… I googled you the other day. I’m going to go home and google that.
There is information instantly available that once was hard to come by. If knowledge is power, than all the power in the world is available with a single computer. And it is not only information… all of those toys we’ve been dreaming of… we can pricewatch, download pics, customize, even “buy it now” with free shipping! Anything you could ever want… well… almost anything.
While doing a search for “true happiness” will bring up close to 24 million… yes… 24 million websites… I know for a fact that not a single one of them will lead me to true happiness. The only guarantee I can give you… is that each and every one of them wanted me to buy something. It is for this reason that the internet can easily be seen as proof of our greed and selfishness.
It is filled with many things that we think we really… really want. Our hearts desire… just a click away. And the number of websites out there that cater directly to us trying to fulfill our every need is just a testimony to how we live our lives. We seek things in the world to make us happy. We seek for things in the world to fulfill us. We seek for things in the world to fill that empty spot within us.
And this is not something we have just picked up recently. 2000 years ago… James was writing to his audience addressing this same problem. Now, we have already spent several weeks working through the book of James and he has been leading us to this point. If you recall several weeks back, James started us out by calling us all to be doers of the word. In chapter two he taught us about who our neighbors were and called us to reach out to everyone. Here in chapter three he turns it to the “heart of the matter” if you don’t mind my pun. The heart of the matter for James… rests in your heart.
Let us look again to verses 13 through 16. James writes, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By their good life let them show their works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
Brothers and sisters, there is a very important point to be made here. James writes two things… first “By their good life let them show their works” and “if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts… there will be disorder and every vile practice.” In both instances, what is in the person’s heart directly effects what comes out of them.