Summary: How do you know if you’ve humbled yourself to God... or if you are still dominated by pride and selfishness. Who is big "I" and who is the little "i" in your relationship with God?
One day a woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen, shaking frantically with what looked like a wire running from his waist to the electric coffeepot he had in his hand. It seemed that he was being electrocuted. So - intending to jolt him away from the deadly current - she whacked him with a plank that had been left by the back door, breaking his arm in two places.
She later she found out that - up until that moment - he had been happily listening to his iPod.
APPLY: iPods are the newest craze in music appreciation.
(show iPod on overhead)
Launched by Apple Computers in 2001 the iPod is a personal entertainment center. It measures only about 2 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches tall – and is about ½ inch thick. But in this little box you can store your entire musical library and play any song on demand. What used to be stored on hundreds of CDs, and LPs… or 8 tracks now can be carried in your shirt pocket.
And you can listen to this music just about anywhere.
You can keep it in your pocket and run the music to your ears via little earplugs
OR you can adapt it to run thru your car sound system.
OR you can buy a devise that will play your music thru a full scale sound system.
It is truly a marvelous music machine.
But wait – there’s more!
In the latest iPods, you can store and play several movies or TV shows.
Or, you can play games, or you can surf the internet.
With the proper knowledge and software, you can even turn this iPod into
• a cell phone
• a tazor
• or an etch-I-sketch
Now, all this entertainment doesn’t come cheap.
There are several different models on the market right now.
The cheapest runs around $150, but the more advanced models can cost between $300 & $500 depending upon the amount of memory you want.
As you can imagine, I won’t be buying one of these anytime soon but if I really wanted this little item… if I wanted the satisfaction this box promises… that’s what it’s going to cost!
Here in chap 4, James is telling us the same thing is true in getting satisfaction in this world. If you want true satisfaction - if you want everything all in one box - there’s going to be a price.
There are many in this world who think satisfaction is based upon how much “Stuff” you have.
The more toys… the more joys.
Or as someone once declared: “He that dies with the most toys wins.” That’s what Christmas has come to mean to some many people.
But toys don’t bring happiness
Stuff can’t fill your lives… just your closets.
The THINGS of this world might keep you entertained, but they can’t give true satisfaction.
And that’s what James is trying to tell us.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want...” Jas 4:1-2
What James is declaring is this:
The endless pursuit of STUFF/ THINGS/ TOYS only serves to make you irritable. It causes you to get into quarrels and fights.
If you could just take the satisfaction you really want from all that STUFF, and you could put it ALL in a little box and carry it around with you all day, then you might be able to be truly happy and satisfied.
Well, fancy that – that’s what James says you can do.
You don’t need all the STUFF.
What you just need God.
If you have God… what else could you possibly need?
It’s like owning an iPod.
If you have that little box why would you need all those CDs stacked in the corner.
But, there is a price for having God in your life.
Look again at James 4:4-9
“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. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
But he gives us more grace.
That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”