We have suspended all public gatherings at FFC. Worship Services will be conducted online via Live Stream at www.faithfellowshipweb.com/livestream, through the FFC App, Facebook Live, and YouTube. 

We will post an update when it is determined that it is safe to physically gather again as a congregation.  We so appreciate your faithfulness during this time.

We will broadcast our services during our regular Worship times: Saturday 6pm, Sunday at 9am and 10:45am.

La Novia Del Cordero Spanish Service will broadcast via Facebook Live Sundays at 11am.

Friendship with the World

Friendship with the World

Words of Faith 5-18-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 4:4-6

        You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

 

      When we first read this verse, we might well be stunned.  Adulterous people?  It is a stinging indictment.  Actually, James is using an allusion that was familiar in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Stunning and strong, it painfully describes those times when Israel fell away. God was clear that this was nothing less than spiritual adultery. 

      The Hebrew Scripture describes Israel as the wife of God. "They broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord (Jeremiah 31:32).   And don't forget that the New Testament scripture describes the people of God as the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-23). God views unfaithfulness as adultery (Hosea 2:2-5; Hosea 3:1-5).  "Do not rejoice, O Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing floor" (Hosea 9:1).  It is a strong rebuke but one that makes very clear the pain that we cause God in our unfaithfulness.

         God puts it into human terms that we can understand.  But James goes further to say that even friendship with the world is "hatred" toward God?  The word James uses is the same as "enemy" or "satan.”   Friendship with the world makes us "a satan" toward God?  A harsh statement, but this is the same way that Jesus referred to Peter when he suggested Jesus should not continue the path toward the cross (Matthew 16:23) "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."  

         But how are we to reach a culture that is lost?  Are we to withdraw to horse and buggy communities?  Actually, James is condemning those moments when we make an alliance of trust with the "kosmos" or the power structures of the world.  James is making clear the incompatibility of worldly principalities and power with the Kingdom of God.  The question is this: Where do you really put your TRUST.  Trust is your friendship bond.  You cannot be bonded in friendship "trust" both to God and to the "kosmos," the world power system. 

         Question of the day: How can I reach the culture around me without buying into its values or compromising to its power structures?  Can I reach those caught in this culture without being seduced into spiritual adultery with it?   God jealously longs for the spirit that He made to live in us.  For that reason, He opposes the proud-- those who trust worldly power--but He gives grace to the humble, those who trust in Him.

 

      Lord, I love YOU and only You with all my heart soul mind and strength.  I want to love my neighbor as myself.  Forgive me any way that I may have given into the seductions of the power structures of this world.  Show me how to live this day wholly for You. Give me Your grace. 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

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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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.