Summary: An Expositional Series on the Book of James

Memorial Day Sermon

James 4:1-6


This weekend we take the time to honor those Americans who died on battlefields across the earth.

“For love of country they accepted death...” ~James A. Garfield

• A total of almost 2.5 million men.

• 9 major wars (from the Revolutionary war to the War on Terror)

• 66 minor wars, including the Thomas Jefferson’s Barbary pirate expedition and the Cold war.

• 146 National Cemeteries in the US

• 24 American Military Cemeteries overseas

I would like us to take a few minutes and honor these men and women by getting an understanding of just how much they gave so that we can enjoy the Freedom and privileges we have today.. We will view a presentation of the cemeteries and memorials so as we contemplate their sacrifice and pray for our future.

“And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.

And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” ~Lee Greenwood

As Americans we are not afraid to fight, though we think highly of life and living.

We do not want our young men to die needlessly.

We do not like war, but sometimes war is the only way to peace.

But there is something, we as Americans, hate more than war, and that is loosing.

If we are going to fight a war, let us fight it to win.

For the most part I would also say that America is not prone to starting wars.

For the most part I would say that our attitude toward war is the right one.

So I must ask, with all the life lost through war, why do wars start?

• We do men continually seek to kill each other.

• Fifth Commandment – “You shall not kill” was broken before it was ever written by the Cain, the first born son of Adam.

• James, the brother of Christ, has something to say about this.

• We are going to skip over a few Chapters of James for the short run so that we can touch on James 4. We will come back to James 2 later.

• Look at Chapter 4

Jam 4:1 From where come wars and fights among you? Do they not come, even of your lusts (ἡäïíή, hedonism – our desire for pleasure or things) that war in your members? Jam 4:2 You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. Jam 4:3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume [it] upon your lusts.

Jam 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Jam 4:5 Or do you think that vainly the scripture says, to envy lusts the spirit that dwells in us? (i.e. the Holy Spirit desires our attention) Jam 4:6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.

1. Man craves for things and when he does not get them in his timing, he set out in his own power to fulfill those cravings. How do you deal with cravings (Lust)? (4:1)

2. There are two ways to deal with one’s cravings or lust (4:2):

a. You can strive to get it.

b. You can petition God for it.

3. Why does man not get the things he prays for? (4:2) “man does not pray!”

a. We do not pray for the things we want because we do not believe God is real and therefore know he won’t be giving us anything.

i. Self fulfilling prophecy

ii. We don’t pray and say, see God is not real

b. We do not pray for things because we think God is powerless to provide for us.

i. Our God is not big enough

ii. Self fulfilling prophecy

iii. We don’t pray and say, see God can’t deliver

c. We do not pray for things because we do not think we are good enough to receive it from God. Problem with this mindset is a misunderstanding of our character and a misunderstanding of God’s character.

i. You and I will never be good enough to receive anything from God if God bases his giving on our being good.

ii. God does not base his giving on our goodness!

iii. Mat 5:45 He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

iv. Therefore to base our prayer on whether or not we are good is just plan stupid.

4. Why does man not get the things he prays for? (4:3) “man prays amiss!”

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