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June 25, 2020

Live by the Spirit

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1)

When we read this verse by itself, it may seem logical, but a bit innocuous. We have all had arguments and disagreements, and most never lead to anything more than some mild anger or resentment. There are of course the moments when rage gets the best of us and those reactions can be devastating.

What comes after verse 1 in James 4 is a warning of critical importance. Critical as in requiring “critical care,” say after a heart attack. “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions(James 4:2-3).

It can be healthy to express our frustration when others get under our skin, but what James is saying is that when our passions and desires, compete with what we know to be true of our relationship with Jesus, from the depths of our heart, we allow our own interests to take priority. When this happens we are saying that we do not value what others bring to the table, nor do we see what they need as significant. This is akin to murder, which at its core is a hatred for others and a desire to protect what we want from those we hate.

Question: So, the question is, how do we live to the contrary?

Challenge: Galatians 5 speaks to this. Take note of every time Paul mentions the Spirit.

Prayer: Lord help me see others through your eyes, and Love them as you have loved me.

Steve Sisco -- BC Staff

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