Summary: You can live your life to please God or you can live your life to please yourself.

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James 4: 1 -- 12

There are two ways for a person to live his life. You can live your life to please God or you can live your life to please yourself. The Bible says that Jesus pleased not Himself. He said He always did those things that pleased the Heavenly Father. So, the real reason we are here is that we might live in such a way to please the Lord. But the fact of the matter is multitudes of people have made the decision that the purpose of life is that they might please themselves. I think you would agree with me America has gone pleasure mad.

Jesus said in John 13: 34, 35, "a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you. James, the half brother of Jesus gives us some things to avoid as Christians in this text. If the world is to know I am a disciple of Jesus, then came says watch out for war problems, wicked passions, and wrong praying.

Let’s talk about these three for a moment. Let’s start by considering WAR PROBLEMS.

James asked a question in verse 1. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Even the early church had its problems of wars among the believers. Before we talk about war problems, I would like for you to put the heart Psalms 133: 1. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." But that isn’t always the case is it?

Let’s consider some of the war problems that was then and also today. The first one we will call class problems. James spoke to this problem back in chapter 2:2 -- 4. Let’s just look back to that chapter. James asked a question in verse 4. We can’t help but to answer it. He is talking about partiality toward the rich in the poor. Partiality is so unbecoming to the Christian. It’s okay to be partial when choosing between Apple pie and cherry pie. But partiality between the rich and the poor is sin. Partiality harbors and fuels evil thoughts. Look at verse 4 in chapter 2. Young people, does it make any difference to you who is going to camp from this church? Do you make your decision based on who is going? If so, then I can tell you, you harbor evil thoughts. It is so unchristian to do so. Put away partiality. It is not good.

Not only is there class problems but also criticism problems. Turn back to chapter 4 and look at verses 11 and 12. Here again is the wrong use of the tongue. Evidently there was criticism in the church in the days of James.

Have you ever had a friend that came to you and told you that someone said something evil against you? Would you be very upset if I told you that it wasn’t a friend that told you? Friends do not bear bad news when they know it is hurtful. A true friend is a person who brings out the best in you. I have always been a little leery of so-called friends who come to me and say so and so said this about you. I want to ask them what is your motive behind this.

James not only talks about war problems but also WICKED PASSIONS. Look at verse 2. Here is a sad picture of the Christian though he knows he’s suppose to live for Lord has caved into his fallen nature and lust only for pleasure. In other words, he is living just like a lost person. He decides that the whole purpose of life is to have pleasure.

One of the classic examples of this is found in the Bible of the man Solomon. Solomon wrote a whole book about it. In the second chapter of Ecclesiastes. Solomon gives his personal testimony of pleasure and passion. Here was a man pleasure driven. He had all the men’s for worldly pleasures. He had the money, the women, the wine. He says in verse 3 he built houses. He got one built, it wasn’t big enough so he built another. Verse 11, he says I looked on all my works passions and pleasures. I tried it all. Behold all was vanity and vexation of Spirit and there was no profit under the sun. Solomon look at all and talks about it being wicked passions. No one will ever be satisfied outside the will of God.

That’s notice the final point in verse 3. We will call this WRONG PRAYING.

Prayer is one of the most special areas of life for the Christian. James says we have not because we ask not. Just simply do not pray.

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