“Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
“Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity . with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the Scripture speaks without meaning when it says, The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy? But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
“So submit yourselves 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 of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.”
The first reading is clear yet difficult to read.
“Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God?”
Ouch! The first time I read this it kind of stung.
“Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.”
I’m confident that God invited me to be a part of this blog series because it is important that I reflect on these words.
When the opportunity to write for this series was presented to me, I first thought,
“Yes! I can lend my gift of writing to a larger audience.”
And there was also the sense of legitimacy, to feel like someone wanted my craft to be a part of their project. And there was a feeling that maybe I am called to write because Christ is present to me in an exemplary way.
And then I read these words:
you of two minds.”
When I first read this passage, I intended to finish it quickly. But I was floored, totally called out. I am an adulterer; I am of two minds. Praise God for James for lovingly convicting us of our sin. But more importantly, he leads us to hope.
“So submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
God wants to be close to us, and we can be.
How can we do that?
“Humble yourselves before the Lord.”
Humility. Exactly what Jesus exemplified in giving over His life.
Be like Christ.
Be close to Him.
During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com.