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November 20

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“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1 NKJV).

From: November 20, 2020


We may blame conflict on external circumstances caused by others, but James said that war actually originates within each of us. How long in human history did man exist before his first war? Not long. Just long enough for two brothers to be born. Yet God saw the internal struggle within Cain, before he slew Abel.
God warned Cain saying, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Gen. 4:6-7).
Sin still “crouches” at our heart’s door. Like a creature of the night, it lurks in the shadows waiting to attack and take control. It tempts us to strike out and war against others, when the real war is actually within us.
After describing the origin of war and fighting, James went on to give its solution. He said, “You have not, because you ask not” (James 4:2). Rather than asking God for that which would bring peace, James says we “lust,” we “covet,” we “fight and war,” we even “murder.” Instead, we can ask God. He has already answered our deepest need when He gave us Christ Jesus. Only Christ can bring peace to our souls.
Will we ever have peace on earth? No. Not as long as even one heart is still at war within. So, let us ask the God of peace to rule our hearts. And let us share the gospel of peace to everyone we know. For only Christ can change the human heart and give us peace.
PRAYER: Dear Father, we pray for peace in our hearts, in our cities, in our nation and our world. Yet, we know that peace won’t come until every knee bows and every heart surrenders to Your Son, Jesus. Therefore, we ask for strength to proclaim Your gospel of peace and reconciliation all the more. Give us boldness to proclaim Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (James 4:17 NLT).

From: November 20, 2018

There are sins of commission and sins of omission. The first is to commit a sin by breaking a law, and the second is to omit to do the good thing that was within your power to do. The word “know” has serious implications. For although ignorance of the law is no excuse, there might be some leniency for the one without knowledge. Yet, for the one who “knows,” there is greater condemnation. For to whom much is given, much is required.
There is the sin of doing what you ought not to do. And there is the sin of not doing what you ought to do. Both are sin. Although most of the commands are “thou shalt not,” some are “thou shalt.” In the case of the latter, such examples being, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” and “Honor thy father and mother,” they have at least equal, if not greater weight than the former.
I suppose we always know more than we do. This is the problem of the heart bent by the Fall. Yet, to the one who would know and believe in Christ, the righteousness of God is imputed unto him.

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4 NKJV).

From: November 20, 2017

Who did James accuse of adultery? Wasn’t it those who claimed to be Christians and therefore members of the Bride of Christ? Yet, they had not broken off “friendship with the world.” James used the same imagery that the Old Testament prophets used when accusing Israel of committing adultery against God because of their idolatry. The Lord was their husband, yet they were giving themselves to other gods of this world in worship.
What was this “friendship with the world” that James called adultery against Christ? Wasn’t it their tendency to covet and lust after the temporal things of this world, attempting to get them by any means? Even trying to use religion to gain worldly things (i.e. “you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures”).
The one who has truly become a member of the Bride of Christ will declare as Paul did, that the “the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). The believer’s love of God leaves no room for any other love, especially that of the world system, which is in rebellion against God. As the apostle John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).
Let us bring our desires before the Lord today that they may be purified by His Word. What is causing anxiety in your soul? What are you over-desiring for, yet not getting, so that you are tempted to take shortcuts? Have you asked the Father to test your desires to see whether they are true? Or are you asking “amiss?” Let us break off our “friendship with the world” and focus all our desire on the Lord Jesus. For in Him all our needs are fully met.

“So he measured the temple, one hundred cubits long…” (Ezekiel 41:13 NKJV)

From: November 20, 2015

The temple that was revealed to Ezekiel by the divine messenger with the measuring rod has never been built. When Ezekiel prophesied, Solomon’s temple had already been destroyed and Zerubbabel’s (which Herod improved upon) had not yet been built. Besides, the Ezekiel temple is much larger in dimension and more grand than either the first or the second temples. This leaves the temple prophecy unfulfilled for now. Some view Ezekiel’s temple prophecy metaphorically and see its fulfillment in the Church, which Scripture describes as God’s “holy temple” (Eph. 2:21). Others take Ezekiel’s prophecy literally and believe that it will actually be built, referring to it as the temple as described by the apostle John (Rev.11:1). How one views this prophecy will determine how one will view most of the other yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies in the Bible. For me, Ezekiel’s language and description of the temple are too detailed and specific for metaphor, therefore I view it as a temple that will one day be built. Whether it is a third temple that stands during the Tribulation or yet another temple that stands during the Millennium, I believe Ezekiel’s temple will one day be built.

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1 NLT)

From: November 20, 2014

We may blame conflict on the external circumstances caused by another, but James said that the war actually originated within us. One of the early learnings that ministers discover is that “hurt people, hurt people.” Those who have hurts on the inside, act out of those hurts to hurt others. Then, there are those whose own self-love causes them to see offense at every turn, of which they keep record, and plan retaliation. Jealousy, greed, covetousness, these sinful desires and others like them, also cause wars within that lead to fights without. Christ is the only answer for peace on earth. Because true peace begins in the heart. What resides in your heart today? Peace or war?

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10)

From: November 20, 2013

The corollary to this might be stated “Exalt yourself and God will humble you.” Or as James said, “God opposes the proud, but give grace to the humble.” So, how do you “humble yourselves?” Here are 12 ways: 1) Confess your sin to God, 2) Acknowledge your sin to others, 3) Take wrong patiently, 4) Submit to authority, 5) Receive correction from others graciously, 6) Accept a lowly place, 7) Associate with people of lower state than you, 8 ) Choose to serve others, 9) Be quick to forgive, 10) Speak well of others, 11) Cultivate a grateful heart, and 12) Embrace the cross (These 12 ways to humble yourself are from

“The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22)

From: November 20, 2012

This prophecy that the Jewish leaders would reject Jesus as Messiah came true. Yet He is the Founder and Finisher of our faith. He is the Chief Cornerstone of the Church. And when He is finished building the Church, He will be the Capstone as well, returning to take us with Him.

“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone” (Psalm 118:22)

From: November 20, 2011

The more you read Psalms, the more you recognize the words Jesus spoke. It’s as if God gave us the Messiah’s script centuries before. It’s one thing to say what the Messiah was to say, but it’s another thing to do what He was supposed to do. Jesus says and does all. He is the Capstone.