The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Getting To Practice Humility

"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you" (Jas.4:7-10).

In the 1st six (6) verses of chapter 4, James is mostly declarative, as he lays bare the sins of the people. Since I figure that we all know what sin consists of, just describing it is not enough. What were the readers of his epistle (us) to do about it? In his own inimitable way, James now turns to commands. Repentance and growth in Christ are never an act, like baptism, where a Christian can look back and declare, "There! I did it." If we are to live in Christ the way we're supposed to, it is a constantly changing process... In verses seven to ten (7-10) and even verse eleven, (11) James lays out eleven (11) imperatives.... "Submit to God" he says, and "Resist the devil....." "Draw near to God." "Cleanse your hands." "Purify your hearts." "Lament." "Mourn." "Weep." "Let your laughter be turned into mourning." "Let your joy be turned into gloom." And lastly.... "Humble yourselves..." I find it interesting to note that James begins these directives by setting two polar opposites beside each other.... Submit to God.... Resist the devil... The devil is the arch enemy of humankind. He delights in tempting people to sin and is never presented in the Bible as an evil counterpart to God. It is only working through human sin that the devil has great power in the world, but in the end, he will be judged as all other created beings will be judged. It is no wonder that James applies his directives in such a sober manner. The Christian life is one in which we must be on the alert, 24/7.... New things will confront us each day, and how we cope with them will determine how the Lord will judge us... His last imperative is my favorite, because it sets the tone for our relationship with God and others... Humble yourselves in the presence of God, and he will exalt you... A perfect ending to this devotional....

Have a wonderful day.... Make your little part of the world better... Love mark Phil.4:11

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