Remember that the Book of James was written by Christ’s earthly brother, one of the children of Joseph and Mary. James became a strong believer after the Resurrection and went on the be the pastor of the First Church of Jerusalem.
There are only 108 verses in the small epistle of James, but in those 108 verses, there are 54 imperatives. In just verses 7, 8, 9, & 10 there are TEN commands from the Lord. Just let me list them for you as a direct request from Jesus to each of us this morning.
What James taught his congregation, and all others since was that authentic Christians separate from sin unto God (James 4:1–10). These authentic saints recognize that they have a choice to either pursue worldliness or godliness, so they choose to avoid “reptilian desires.”
Many reptiles grow a little bigger every year of their life if fed and left unhindered. So too will our lustful desires grow: if we feed them and protect them from the Spirit of God mortifying and killing them. Left unhindered, our lustful desires can grow bigger than we could ever imagine that they could. So, here is what James prescribed to those authentic, first-generation believers:
Step 1 to Un-Friend Worldliness: Avoid Pleasure Dominated Living
Maturing saints avoid the consequences of a pleasure-dominated life. If you are only living for pleasure, and pleasure dominates your decisions, then you are feeding the lusts of your flesh. Our world is constantly bombarding us with the desire for a pleasure-dominated life.
In order to prepare himself for going to China, Hudson Taylor used to sleep on the floor with one sheet over him so that he would not always have a soft, pleasure-seeking life.
Maturing saints know how to avoid infidelity to God. God equates friendship with this world with spiritual adultery.
Friendship with the world is anything that distracts us from worship, ministry, and devotion! Whatever is pulling us away from devotion to God causes us to be God’s enemy.
MY PRIDE PREVENTS MY SPIRITUAL GROWTH
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