Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you. You want things, but you do not have them. So you are ready to kill and are jealous of other people, but you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God. Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things so you can use them for your own pleasures.                       James 4:1-3 (NCV)

Lectionary texts: Proverbs 31:10-31, Psalm 1, James 3:13-4:8, Mark 9:30-37

This week’s lectionary texts can certainly answer the question in James “Do you know where all the fighting and bickering comes from?” Some people seem to like the drama of fighting and bickering. It seems to energize them. I don’t get that. I am energized when my life is characterized by peace and unity; there is a harmony that makes all aspects of my life flow together. So I am very interested in learning from my LORD about a life that “sings in perfect pitch” with Him.

Proverbs 31: wives and husbands. The relationship between a husband and wife seems to have a big target painted on it that just invites disharmony. Proverbs 31 passage may appear, at first, to be directed to the wife and what she must do and the husband just sits back and receives the blessings. But what if the writer is speaking to the husband and is saying, “Look what you have!” Instead of looking at the wife and listing how she has fallen short, a husband begins with the blessings he is already receiving. And then he asked himself the most important of questions: “How can I help you? How can I bless you?” The husband, following the example and teachings of Jesus, is a servant first.

Psalm 1: the measure of a man. This is one of those passages of Scripture that every wife should pray over her husband. It is a prayer of blessings. It is a prayer, that when answered by God (because He will answer it, after all it is His words!) returns a blessing back to the prayor – a thousandfold! What wife would not want a husband who does not walk with wicked people and loves the precepts of the LORD? What wife doesn’t want a husband who is fruitful (Galatians 5:22) and is watched over by the LORD because he is righteous, in right relationship with God?

James 3-4: flush out the impurities. My life cannot be harmonious if inside of me there are obstacles that divert the flow, causing discord and tainting the joy that God wants to flow from Him to me. Unforgiveness, envy, selfish ambitions and that most destructive acid called bitterness, can be tiny drops inside of me that poison and grow. They are not obstacles that I can clear in my own strength. They require the power of the Holy Spirit to come through and cleanse every drop from my mind, heart, and spirit. I must turn my back on the world’s evaluation of justice and grasp God’s justice with both hands and know that His is right and true. His justice comes in His way and His timing. Am I willing to submit to God, trust Him and receive His abundant blessings?

Mark 9: If-Then. This passages is about consequences in my life.

  • If Jesus dies, then He will rise again in complete victory. Death of self must come before Life.
  • If I want to be great in God’s Kingdom, then I must be a servant.
  • If I welcome “the least of these” in my life, then I am welcoming Jesus; I am welcoming God Himself.

Harmony in my life comes loving my LORD more than anything or anyone else. My own comfort and accomplishments do not provide me with insulation or protection from this life. It is how deeply I am planted inside my LORD. The legacy of greatness in my life will not be measured by how many homes I have or how many buildings have my name on them, but on how many feet I washed when no one was looking.

Make Me A Servant from Psalty’s Kid Praise 4, Maranatha Music



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