Week 8. Wednesday: Friends and Enemies
PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.
READ: James 4:4-6
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words
Adulterous people: Since our faith is about having a relationship with God, He expects us to be faithful to Him. When we turn away from God to chase what the world offers, God considers that to be adulterous against Him.
Friendship with the world means enmity against God: James is addressing a common problem that still exists today. Many people want God and what the world offers. James is teaching that we can’t have both. We can’t love God and the world. Also see Matthew 6:19-24 and 1 John 2:15-17.
He jealously longs for the spirit: Every person has a spirit that will live forever in eternity. God longs for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Therefore, God has a right to be a jealous God since He created us.
He gives us more grace (Greek: megas charis): This Greek phrase means “greater grace.” Even though God is jealous for us He still chooses to give us grace.
God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble: Since all sin comes from pride, God resists and sends judgment to the proud. God shows favor (gives grace) to those who are humble and have not chosen to follow the ways of the world. See Proverbs 3:34 and 1 Peter 5:5.
APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?
In what ways are you being a “friend of the world”?
How is this impacting your relationship with God?
PRAY: Ask God to help you identify the places where you are beginning to put things ahead of Him.