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Words of Faith 5-15-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 4:1-3

    What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.


     James is talking to a mature Christian audience.  But even among mature Christian people, there can still be disagreements and even fights and quarrels.  It can be even worse when we are at odds with the world. 

     There were some big issues to be dealt with in the early church.  Jewish Christians were in conflict with gentile Christians over how much of the law to observe.  Leaders like Peter and Paul had sharp disagreements.  Paul also parted ways with his close friend and sponsored Barnabas and his young follower John Mark.  God seemed to use those times of disagreement in positive ways, but they had to be painful.

        Perhaps there will always be some kind of disagreement among Christian people of conscience.  But James cautions us to be very careful about such things.  There is a warring between people that comes from selfish motivations and wrong desires.  James warns the Christian community to look carefully within to discern the real source of conflict.  

       Is there something within that is driving me?  Something not of God?  Is there some unmet need or unknown motivation?  Is there some bit of envy or covetousness hidden away?  Or is it a matter of pride? Stubbornness?  We can become set on having our way, and when we don't get what we want, the quarreling starts.

       Surely there were no real murders among the Christian community, but remember that Jesus once said that if we call others degrading names like "You empty-headed fool" it is like murder because we assassinate the character and name of that person in our hearts. 

         The answer is so simple.  You do not have the answers to these situations because you do not ask God.  Do you really want peace?  Have you asked God?  Do you really want an answer, a real solution, or are you just set on getting your own way?  Have you asked God?  Even when we have gone to God, our motives have been impure and self-centered.  That is not the way to get the will of God in our lives.  Motive matters. 

         How about a different day today?  One where you look inside?  And before you quarrel or fight, you ask: What is really going on here?  Why do I care about this?  Is this really a fight that honors God?  Or is the relationship with this person, in the end, more important than winning or getting my way?  Something to think about.


   Lord, You said that if I would delight myself in You, You would give me the desires of my heart.  Lord, give me desires that honor You.  Reshape the things that drive me.  Remold my motivations.  Show me the things you really want me to strive for this week.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2009, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.