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Dave Burnette's Commentary

James Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: James
Date Penned: (49 AD)
Overview: James' Concern for the Persecuted Christians (c 1-5)
Theme: General Wisdom (c 4-5)
Message: Trusting in the Lord (v 1-17)

James 4 Commentary

(4:1-12) Submit Yourselves to God - At the end of chapter 3, James explains that false wisdom leads to disorder and every kind of evil (3:16), and that true wisdom has wonderful results (3:17-18). From this poetic description of wisdom expressed in general terms, James returns to practical application. His readers need to know what wisdom is, but they need even more to live wisely. Chapter 4 begins with a challenge to change their current behavior. His questions take on the firmness and commitment of a person who understands that unchallenged evil will not go away. James wants his brothers and sisters to resist not only the practices of evil wisdom, but also the source from which this wisdom springs. His plan requires a declaration of allegiance to God and open rebellion from the Devil’s ranks.We need to feel the impact of these same truths as James describes situations that are only too true in churches today. The quarrels and fights that James observed still characterize the life of the body of Christ and seriously hamper the effective communication of the gospel. Outsiders who look to the church as a place of solace and salvation often find it is full of strife. We desperately need God’s wisdom in our churches.

(4:13-17) Trust God in Making Plans - James maintains the passion of the last section in this new one. The progression has moved from humbling ourselves and our relationships to God, to our future and the need to entrust it to God.This section includes three essential facts of life that make for good planning:God is in control (4:15)Life is a daily gift (4:15)All our going and doing must be carried out with the first two points in mind.This section is not an argument against making careful plans; rather, it is a caution to submit to God, even in our planning.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Draw Near to God

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of James with Chapter 4 and in our text we see James reminding us to draw near to God as we submit ourselves to Him while resisting the devil as we put our lives in the Lords hands. In making application we see that our lives on this earth are short. God's Will is for all to be saved, followed by a life of submission to our Lords best for your life. How about you? Are you Saved? If so, are you living the life God has planned for you? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of James who reminds us that life is just a vapor so be saved and then draw near to God and God will draw near to you. 


James 4

James 4

 1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

 2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye 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.

 5Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

 6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

 9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

 11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

 12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

 13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

 16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.