James 4
Give Yourselves to God
1Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that make war inside you. 2You 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. 3Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things only so that you can use them for your own pleasures.
4So, you people are not loyal to God! You should know that loving the world is the same as hating God. So if a person wants to be a friend of the world, he makes himself God’s enemy. 5Do you think the Scripture means nothing? It says, “The Spirit that God made to live in us wants us for himself alone.”# These words may be from Exodus 20:5. 6But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says,
“God is against the proud,
but he gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34
7So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run away from you. 8Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You are sinners. So clean sin out of your lives. You are trying to follow God and the world at the same time. Make your thinking pure. 9Be sad, cry, and weep! Change your laughter into crying. Change your joy into sadness. 10Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will honor you.
You Are Not the Judge
11Brothers, do not say bad things about each other. If you say bad things about your brother in Christ or judge him, then you are saying bad things about the law he follows. You are also judging the law he follows. And when you are judging the law, you are not a follower of the law. You have become a judge! 12God is the only One who makes laws, and he is the only Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor.
Let God Plan Your Life
13Some of you say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.” 14But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. 15So you should say, “If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you are proud and you brag. All of this bragging is wrong. 17And when a person knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, then he is sinning.
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