Summary: What does it mean to submit to God?
Next week we will celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ here on earth. We will praise with songs, His Word, and fellowship (you are all encouraged to bring food to share).
We celebrate Christmas because about 2000 years ago God Jesus Christ became a human being, born in a lowly stable, was raised by godly parents with constant fellowship with God the Father, miraculously touched many people, sacrificially laid His life to die on a cross for people’s sins, rose from the dead by the power of God, ascended back to heaven awaiting to return to earth to bring all who believe in Him to eternity, but also to judge the living and the dead and all evil!
We might be ready for Christmas, but are we really ready for the final Christmas when Jesus returns not as a baby King of kings and Lord of lords? We can only be ready for that final Christmas when we truly believe that Jesus Christ is our only God and Savior from our sins!
Let us again pause for a moment and quietly pray about our belief and love for Jesus Christ…..
As we noted last week, even if we still sin, God loves us! If we truly accept this love, we will respond by loving back. One way to love God back is to listen to His Word. Open your Bibles to James 4…… read along with me v7-10….
We love God back by listening to His Word but we noted from James 1: 22 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. And so let’s talk about what we are to be doing.
You know, I am really liking this letter by James because it is all about practical Christianity. Do you want to know how to really live as a Christian? Read this Letter by James over and over again until you have done everything God tells you!
v7a: Submit yourselves to God. What are the basics in submitting to God in a practical way on a daily basis??
- Constantly affirm that we are the created
- Listen to God often
- Ask God what you are to be doing
- Do what God says!
What’s the next thing we are to do?
v7b: Resist the devil! Let us note that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us and the opposite of this is also true: If we don’t resist the devil, evil will be in our lives! We must constantly resist the devil! In a practical way, how do we resist the devil on a daily basis??
1. We must be constantly alert that the devil exists!
2. Be aware of the devil’s schemes! What’s a sign that the devil is scheming??
When we are being pulled away from God, the devil is scheming!
3. As Christians we have the power to say no to the devil; so, say no to the devil!
And v8-10 complements v7 in more detail right? What are they and what do they mean in a practical way?
v8a: Come near to God! How approachable is God?? Why??
If God tells us to come near to Him, He will not lie and being near to God is real! And so, on a daily basis, we are either near God or far from God! When someone who loves you very much tells you “come near to me”, what do you do??
And so, on a moment by moment basis, are we running to God or are we running away from God?
How do we run to God and be near Him? The 2nd part of v8 to v10 allude to the answer! We can run to God and be near Him but only through Jesus Christ!
v8-10: We are all sinners (we go against God often) and double minded (we forget about God often)! If we are honest with ourselves, this is really true isn’t it? And so, if this is really true, and it is, any self-produced joy is really anti God! This truth may be hard to swallow but what does God tell us in v9? Because we are all sinners and double-minded when it comes to our Creator God, we should grieve, mourn, and wail about our stubborn hearts. What’s the answer to our sinful lives? We are to humble ourselves before the Lord (v10).
How do we humble ourselves before God? We are to wash our hands and purify our hearts! Again, we can only be cleansed through Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, so that we can be cleansed! We are to note 2 verses to go along with James 4:10, Isaiah 53:5…
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.