Who is wise and understanding among you by his Good Conduct? Let him show his works in the in the meekness of set of wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above but is Earthly and spiritual demonic or where jealousy and selfish ambition exist. There will be disorder and every vile practice, but the wisdom from above is first pure then Peaceable gentle open to reason full of mercy and good fruits impartial and sincere and a harvest of righteousness is sown in Peace by those who make peace. Thank you Lee.
Church, if you would turn to that same passage of scripture that lie just read and as we continue walking through the Book of James that's where we're going to be focusing our time this morning and last week we talked about the need for us as Christians as we seek to through the power of the Holy Spirit of the fly what God is asking us to do to our lives last week. We talked about the need to apply that to our tongues to guard what we say this week. We're looking here and what it comes down to is we need to fight against another enemy. Not just our tongues. We need to fight against ourselves. Now that may sound a little strange. right how many of you have ever had a fight with yourself? How many of you won?
Right. That's it. That's a kind of fight that I like like I'm guaranteed to win if I fight myself because whichever part of me wins I win right? But that's not exactly what I'm talking about. This is not a question of should I have a second helping of dessert or not? Right? It's not a question of whether or not I should splurge on that purchase. That's not the kind of fight that I'm talking about. What I'm talking about here is very much that the core of what I think James is talking about we're here just about in the middle of this book and James is kind of bringing everything to a center point and he's going to show us this is what I'm talking about. This is why I say you have to fight in the Christian life because there's a distinction between true Christianity and professed Christianity how many of you guys how many of you guys when you were younger had a burning desire to go into politics?
Those of you who did are too ashamed to admit it's and so I'm seeing like these kind of hands raised so nobody else knows what's going on? Right. That is it is kind of our Temptation when we think about politicians, right? We think oh that's not important calling. Some of that reputation is earned by the politicians though, right? Like this is a noble thing. Honestly seriously do not be ashamed. If God is calling you to engage in office to engage in the political process that is a privilege that we have by virtue of living in the country. We do if God is calling you to it don't live up to The Stereotype change the stereotype. Okay, however, those who have gone before you may not have done the best job of ennobling that office. You've heard a politician say on entering office. The only reason I'm running is so that I can serve the people. And then when they leave office, they build a gated home with the millions they made in office. So they never have to deal with the people again, right they cut themselves off from the people they say there's to serve because it's really easy to talk a good game about serving people. Right? We talked about that when we use our tongues to say things that we can't follow through last week. We saw that that is not what James is talking about just talk a good talk and then do what you want and yet He goes on in this passage to say that that's what we can do. It is possible to use your faith like a lot of politicians use their office as a means of enriching themselves.
Rather than serving others is very possible to misuse Christianity to talk a really good game about loving God and loving others and making disciples and yet the whole time censor your face around meeting your needs. About serving your purposes about making yourself feel better about yourself and we end up using this thing that God has given as a gift to redeem the world. We take it appropriate for ourselves and use it just for our own ends because we feel good when we come to church and we sing some songs or we can take pride in the fact that we wrote the largest check for the offering plate this week. James is going to say that's not Christianity. If the object of your Christianity is to make yourself feel better. You've missed what Jesus was all about. You've missed the point of the gospel because the point of the Gospel is not to glorify you. Not that meet your own needs. The point of the Gospel is to glorify God and meet the needs of the people that he put you in contact with. That's what the gospels. How do you tell the difference James is all about like take action. And so I don't want us to come to this passage and then leave this passage without taking action, right? So we've got to start evaluating what kind of Christianity am I living? Am I living this kind of Christ exalting biblical way of looking at the world that Christ would encourage me to admit. Is that what I'm pushing for or am I using Christianity? For my own ends. Well, here's a question.
You have a Bible right? Everybody's got a Bible. If you don't have a Bible by the way, don't feel bad about that. There's one in a seat somewhere near you go ahead and grab that take it home with you. That is yours to keep if you need a Bible. But when you open the Bible, here's a diagnostic question. Are you opening the Bible looking for self-help? Or are you opening the Bible so that you can learn more about the God of the Bible? Are you expecting when you crack the pages of that book to find something little bit of encouragement for your day a little bit of self-help motivation or are you looking to know something about the God who created the world in offers Redemption to every single human being in it? What about prayer when you pray? Are you simply expressing your Cosmic wish lift? To the great grandfather in the sky. Here's what I want for Christmas.
Or are you honestly going in prayer to the one who is Sovereign over everything saying Lord can form my life to your desire for it? Lord accomplish your will regardless of what it cost me. How are you using prayer? What about church this morning? You walked into this building. I'll say it again. If I've said it a hundred times. I'll say it a hundred and one. The church is not the building, right? We're getting this. What is the church? The people write the people who say Jesus is Lord and seek to follow him together. That's the church. Okay, you walked into this place this morning with the church. And here's the Temptation. The Temptation is to say I really like that music today.
How should I was really good staff or yeah, it didn't like that music today.
I really like the sermon that was good sermon. I didn't like that sermon. At the couldn't string to random thoughts together in order.
And we approach church is something that we evaluate y'all went to church this morning and the bathroom was dirty. I'm never going back there again. If we come to church and we it intern we say I'm going to evaluate the music whether or not I liked it. I'm going to evaluate the sermon. I'm going to make sure but he's dressed right talks right smells right? I'm going to make sure things are clean and my needs are met.
You're probably entering. With a self focused faith, not a Christ focused faith. There's a story of a pastor who went to visit some people who had visited his church and he called me said hey, thanks for visiting Sunday. I'd like to come and visit with your talk little more. So they go and have a good visit there talking to having a great time and he says, so can we expect to see you back this Sunday? And they said, oh no pastor. We didn't like the music your sermon was a little bit dry. Now, we won't be back this Sunday and he says, I'm sorry you thought that I was asking whether or not you liked it. But you misunderstood I was asking whether or not you'd come and worship The God Who created everything Sunday wasn't asking if your needs were mad. I was asking if you had an opportunity this Sunday to submit to the god of creation. the difference between biblical Christianity
and what sometimes we substitute for it is whether or not we're going for ourself or we're going for God comes down to how we look at the world. How many of you heard the term worldview? Depends on your worldview. Do you look at the world around you primarily through a lens of what can I get out of this or do you look at the world around you and say what does God want from this? That's the difference that James is going to talk about a way of looking at the world that exalts me the benefits me or a way of looking at the world that exalts Christ and benefits the people that he loves here. So let's look at James this passage that Lee Read for us. Let's dive into it and let's start in verse 13 of James chapter 3 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his Good Conduct. Let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. Right. He's just finished talking about not many of you should become teachers Brothers for you know that we who teach will incur strict or judge me just finished talking about the trouble that are tongue can get us into any says if you're really Wise It's not to be shown in what you say. It's going to be shown in what you do. Write this is why it says not many should become teachers at the beginning of chapter 3 because you have your held accountable for what you say. This is why he says wisdom is not seen primarily in what comes out of your mouth. It's what happens with your feet and your hands with your wallet with your name. That's where wisdom is shown. And so if anybody is wiser understanding it's going to be shown. By the good works that it produces this is this is a christ-centered way of looking at the world. A christ-centered way of looking at the world does not lead to me religious verbiage. It leads to actions it leads to transformation. It leads to good works now. I just want to be clear good works. Don't lead to a christ-centered worldview. Good works don't lead to salvation. But Salvation always leads to Good Works a Christ centered worldview always leads to good works. And that's what he says. This is how you demonstrate your wisdom and your understanding your awareness of who Christ is is shown in how you respond to him. This is exactly what Jesus said. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus dead do good works.
But not for your own sake. Not because it makes you feel better not because it makes other people think you're better than you are do good works that they might see those good works and glorify your father who is in heaven. Wisdom produces action that is focus on exalting God not exalting me. Also in verse 13 we see that this is this is humility. This christ-centered way. It is Wise Way this understanding way of looking at the world produces humility in US it produces in us something that says don't look at me. I'm going to do good works, but not as a performance piece. Not for Applause. I'm going to do these good works that you might see and glorify my father who's in heaven. It's not about me. It's about him this humility soap a christ-centered way of looking at the world produces good works that glorify God and not US produces humility that says don't look at me. There's a quote in my in in my office. I talked about this. I've quoted this not nearly as many times as I've said the thing about the church earlier, but I said the goal for the Christian is to preach the gospel. Die and be forgotten. How's that for your daily dose of self-help optimism?
Preach the gospel. In word and deed die and be forgotten Christianity that centered on how I feel and making sure that my needs are met is never going to embrace. That idea is never going to be okay with being forgotten in this is a particular Temptation for us in this day and age of social media particular Temptation for us to kind of let people see our good works. And glorify it. To get the lights to get the comments to get the approval of our fellow human beings. That's a Temptation for us today. A christ-centered way of looking at the world says I don't care who thinks about me or what they think about me, but I definitely want to make sure the Christ is exalted in my life. But there's a contrast is there not verse 13 is followed by verse 14. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts do not boast and be false to the truth. So who is wise and understanding letting exhaust Christ through good works and through humility. but if you have jealousy and ambition in your heart You're going to be tempted to boast and to lie if I can paraphrase first 14. This is the Temptation for us and I think James is saying this is what a self-centered Faith produces in us if my faith is about making sure that my needs are met if my faith is about giving my life some sort of I don't know little moments of Happiness if my life is centered around meeting my needs in this is what it leads to it leads to jealousy. Why? Well because I'm going to look around and I'm going to see somebody else being happy and I'm going to see somebody else soon's needs are met and I coming to church and I don't like the music but I'm looking over there and that person likes the music and how come they got their way?
right And I'm going to come in and I'm going to look at the carpet. I'm glad I don't like Green carpet. Who picked the Green carpet why they get to choose? We're playing the church in New Harmony will why New Harmony? I wanted to go the other way.
right When when my faith is about me? And something happens that doesn't meet my need. I'm going to be jealous if whoever's need was just met. Right when they away the response that comes out of me is going to be jealousy because I want what that person has. So why start to compete right? Oh, I don't like the green car. But I want to make sure we get red carpet next time. So I'm going to try to get noticed by the pastor's I'm going to try to get put on the decorating committee so that I can have a say in this I'm going to do good works if I need you to get what I want. How many I'm going to show up and Imma Be face when I'm going to be at every business meeting. I may be there every time the doors are open so that I can influence the direction of this church in the direction that I wanted to go.
You producing good works? You're serving but James says it's jealousy. It's motivating you and he says it's it's not just jealousy that does that it's ambition. I want to be known ass. Someone who does good works. I want to be known for the fact that I am like this the best servant in the bunch. I am the time the brightest crayon in the Box.
Yeah, but you're still a crayon.
Like if you're ambitious and the church is your chosen vehicle for expressing that ambition like set your sights a little higher people.
But it creeps in this is what we do when we send her our faith round us will produce good works, but it's for us. Right and it leads to the next part right at leads to it leads to the boasting and being false to the truth. If my faith is about making sure that people recognize how good I am. My faith is about producing good works that speak to my goodness. The glorify me then I may have to you know, kind of goose some a little bit every once in awhile. Give him jump up. I may have to tell people just how dog gone good I am. I may have to lie. You know what? I really I really wanted to be at that meeting right, but I was so busy praying. I just couldn't make it. right I really wanted to serve it Bible Camp. I really did but I was just too busy feeding the homeless. Sorry. Right when were motivated by a self-centered faith is used to glorify us. We have to produce good works that do that for us. And when we can't produce those works we have to pretend that we we are we have to lie. We have to boast we have to say look at me how great I am. James says that's the product of the self centered worldview. So let's diagnose it. Let's see. If this is in me or in you this is not something by the way. I'm going to I'm going to put out a few questions here. I don't want you asking these questions for your spouse. I don't want them asking these questions. I don't want you asking these questions for the person sitting next to you or behind you. I don't want you thinking. Yeah, they better ask them self that question. I want you to ask yourself these questions. They verse 15 says This Bitter jealousy selfish ambition boasting being false answer. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above but it is Earthly and spiritual and demonic now, what are those things mean in verse 15? What is Earthly mean? Here's a question to ask yourself. Do I look for people's praise? Or for an immediate reward when I do something good.
That's Earthly wisdom. Did somebody see to praise me? Do I get something out of it? When you are doing a good work when you are called upon to serve and you serve the question that you ask yourself is did I expect somebody to praise me for it? Did I expect to get an immediate reward for it? If so, that is Earthly wisdom.
Unspiritual do I engage in religious activity?
in order to find fulfillment
do I engage in religious activity in order to find fulfillment? Is it about meeting my emotional needs feeling some sort of emotional Gap in me. Is it about meeting another need for this life right here right now?
Am I engaged in a religious activity for personal fulfillment that's on spiritual? demonic now everybody's like well, I'm not where she has been demons, right? We were singing to Jesus earlier. But he says it's not demon worship. He's is demonic. It's characterized like the demons and then we know that the demons are characterized by a desire to demote God and promote themselves. So when I engage in religious activities when I read my Bible when I pray when I worship when I go to church am I seeking to promote myself to the detriment of promoting. The question I would ask you to ask. Why does this matter? Why does it matter that we diagnose whether or not we have a self-centered Faith or a christ-centered faith it matters because this in turn affects how we relate to others James brings back his categories from earlier. He says when we first look at 4:16 with me. Four-way jealousy and selfish ambition exist there will be disorder and every bow practice. The reason we need to diagnose whether or not our faith is Earthly and spiritual or demonic is because of its impact on our fellowship together because of its impact on the people around us. That's why we need to diagnose that and a self-centered way of looking at Faith. The self-centered way of looking at the world is going to affect how we deal with the people around us. If I'm operating from the position of jealousy. Then I don't want you to succeed. I want you to fail and make me look good. I want to have what you have. I can't stand it when other people praise you I want them to praise me, right every single relationship becomes tinged by that jealousy. So James is this is why you need to keep Focus. This is why you need to diagnose your heart on this because if you're jealous in your engagement with the people around you in church or in your family or in your workplace or in your world, Then that's going to color your interaction with them. You can't seek somebody's good when you're jealous of them. You can't speak to bless somebody. You can't seem to meet somebody's need when you're jealous of them. And James says that's not going to work when you're ambitious right when you want to be up here and everybody else down here. You're not going to be able to love your neighbor.
You're not going to be able to come into this place and celebrate the fact that we are all different from each other. You're not going to be able to come into this place and say how can I serve rather than was I served. If you're ambitious. It's all about serving you everybody else around you meet exist to recognize your greatness to promote your greatness.
They don't exist for you to serve for you to love for you to demonstrate the goodness of God to them. And he says this is what happens when this is the heart a results in disorder. It results in disorder that word there disorder.
Refers to everything being out of joint a continual state of upheaval or confusion or conflict when we come into church. Church being people not a building when we come into meeting with one another and I'm jealous of you and your ambitious and wanting to be above me then guess what happens? Everything gets out of joint. nothing works smooth things don't stick together. There's confusion and there's conflict and there's upheaval. He said if that's not enough, it doesn't lead to disorder within the fellowship. It also leads to every vile practice.
Now James could have been very exhaustive here. He could have listed some of those vile practices. But you didn't have to because when myself is the objects of my face when my desire is to promote myself, I'm going to use any means possible to achieve that and I'm going to gossip about people so the people look at me. As the one who's better than everybody else. Right. I'm going to fight with my brothers. And my sisters because I've got to get what's mine. And we can dress this up we can we can fancy this up and we can call it any number of things.
Zeal for the work of the Lord
I stand for the truth.
but when we get down to the heart of it
It's just sin. It's a vile thing to use the things of God to promote my own interest. That is ugly. Paul says in one of his letters. He says that we as humans are inventors of evil. The reason James doesn't list everything is because in the two thousand years since James, we've come up with a whole lot of different ways to be vile and evil and so he just covers you if you're jealous and ambitious don't be surprised at the sin that you see in your interaction with other people. If you're jealous wanting what they have if you're ambitious wanting them to be underneath you don't be surprised when every vile thing is the result. All right. Quiz time raise your hands if you're tired of being beat up.
Raise your hands if you're ready for some good news. Amen, see this James 14 and 15 and 16. That's us without Christ. That's us with only ourselves to rely on in the good news is folks. We have Christ more. So Jesus said it's good if I go away so that the spirit will come we have the spirits. Today is Pentecost Sunday Pentecost. Sunday is 50 days after Resurrection Sunday the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming on the church and empowering them for the work that God called them to do. Jesus said Go Make Disciples of every nation, but don't go yet. Wait until the Holy Spirit comes. The holy spirit's did show up in a mighty way on the day of Pentecost and the exact same holy spirit is still operating in his people today. And that is why when we come to verses 14 and 15 and 16. We ought not to just to spare even though if you're like me this week cuz I was studying this passage. I'm like, oh, yeah, I see that in me. Oh, yeah that action right there. That was definitely Earthly. Oh, yeah, that was definitely some unspiritual motivation. Yeah. Definitely that was demonic. I wanted to promote myself. I wasn't trying to promote got and that evaluation hurts and it stings but the good news is if you are in Christ, there is hope beyond that self-centered Faith because the spirit is in you and this is what James says. He says but the wisdom from above the life made possible through the power of God Spirit the transformation that can come about when we submit to cry instead of it exalting ourselves. The wisdom from above is first pure then Peaceable gentle open to reason full of mercy and good fruits impartial and sincere. This is how we begin to see that's what a Christ centered worldview. Looks like. This is what happens when the spirit comes just his people we no longer have to exist with this jealousy and ambition causing tension and disorder and every vile thing amongst us instead now now we can live in purity. We're not competing with one another in powered by the spirit. We're working together for the glory of God. We glorify God by living lives that look like Christ. Let's diagnose this side. Pure Life is a life that is being empowered by the holy spirit is your life pure.
Do you blush at sins still had a professor once in college? So so my mom is here today, and she did her best to raise me, right? And my parents even sent me off to Bible College because how much trouble can you get into and Bible College the answer?
As much as you want. My mom didn't let me listen to secular music that didn't always work.
I never watched an R-rated movie. until I went to Bible College
I got in to certain bands. a Bible College
And I was struck one morning in in Chapel. When one of our professors who is preaching that day. He said he said guys. You can't laugh at something on Saturday nights. The god condemns on Sunday morning. if we're pure
then we still blush it then. Then we don't celebrate the lewdness. The gratuitous violence the Brokenness inherent in our world in the cultural around us and that's not work. We do that's the spirit in us who starts making it really uncomfortable for us to watch those movies or listen to that music when the Holy Spirit comes we're Pew or what we're Peaceable. Here's the question. I want you to ask yourself do I experience peace in my home? In my work place in my church or in my heart where the spirit is there is peace where the wisdom from above is there is peace. We're looking for this piece. We were Megan and I were were blessed by the ministry of a man of God who still pastoring. He was our pastor for several years. And the church that he led had a saying. We don't fight. Every single person who came into that church and took their new members class heard this pastor say welcome to this church. We don't fight.
It was a breath of fresh air. It's not that they didn't disagree. It's not that they did not have some intense Fellowship from time to time.
But it did at the end of the day. They knew what the main thing was the main thing was glorifying God not getting our own way. And so they didn't fight May It Be said of us through the power of Christ that we don't fight. They were Peaceable gentle. Am I concerned for the way that others leave an encounter with me? right the bull in the china shop how many of you know that bowl? Write how many of you can put a face with that title? right But James has look if you're living if you're trusting if you're walking in the wisdom that comes from above the spirit is moving in you then you're gentle and that gentleness does not mean that you never speak truth. It just means that you do so in love. It means that instead of just trying to beat everybody down. Like I spent the first half of this message doing.
You come back around and you say and God loves you. And so do I and you pursued truth with gentleness you're concerned with how people feel after they talk with you. That's the mark of a gentle heart a heart that says I want this person to leave knowing the love of Christ not leave knowing I'm right. That's the difference open to reason open to reason he says this is important characteristic you are open to reason one thing that I hope you'll find at Red Hills. We have four different pastors, right and anytime you have for Baptist preachers. You've got five different opinions on just about every subject.
And if you hear one of us teach on an issue, that's not Central to the gospel. We all agree on the centrality of the Gospel. We agree on the the Divinity of Christ. We agree on salvation by grace through faith. We agree on all that important stuff, but you may hear us. Joke with one another about the fact that we don't all agree on eschatology. We don't all agree on what's going to happen and when when Jesus comes back And that's okay because each of us is trying to look at the other as they were open to reason that here's what I think but I'm okay with being wrong. Are you that way? Is that how you approach your faith? Like I am convinced that Jesus is the son of God because the Bible is very clear on that. However, I'm okay with a pre-trib mid-trib or post-trib return of Christ because the Bible is not quite as clear there. Are you open to reason here's the question. Have you asked yourself do I desire to know truth? More than I desire to be rights. Do I desire to know truth more than I desire to be right cuz it's entirely possible. To pursue being rights to the detriment of Truth to win the arguments but missed the points right when the spirit is there when were submitted to the wisdom from above when we're living with a Christ exalting worldview. We are open to reason am I full of Mercy Am I full of Mercy? Here's a question. Do I readily forgive others and always strive to interpret their actions in the best life possible. How many of you Don't raise your hands how many of you have ever, you know walked by somebody in the store and you wave at him and they don't wave back.
They just kind of walk by like this.
Or you've done that at church you've been excited to greet somebody and they don't even acknowledge your existence.
Do you assume all that person? What would a stuck-up snob? What's his deal? Anyways, what's wrong with her? That's not being full of Mercy. Mercy would say, you know what I bet there's something going on in their life. I bet they're distracted by something. They didn't intentionally Overlook me. I'll gladly ignore that perceives light. It's not even a slight by the way. It's just receives like I'll gladly ignore that because God showed me mercy. I went my own way and ignored his existence for 20 years. Imma be okay with them ignoring my existence for 5 seconds. When were full of Mercy that's an Evidence of this living with a Christ exalting worldview Living in the power of the spirit. I readily forgive others and I always paint their actions in the best lights that I possibly can. I don't assume motives where I don't know motives if somebody says to me like I was trying to ignore your existence, that's the point what you can say. Yeah, they were trying to ignore my existence.
But if they don't say anything, they probably just missed you. Paint actions and best light be ready to forgive that's being full of Mercy good fruits is the next thing to James says, right. They were full of mercy and full of good fruits. Here's your question. Do I obey Jesus? Jesus said the disciple he tells us he says go and make disciples and here's how you know, what a disciple is a disciple as somebody who's been baptized in the name of the father Son and Holy Spirit and somebody who is obeying what he can do what Jesus commands that's a disciple. So the question is are you obeying with Jesus commands? Here are some of the things that Jesus commands. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your strength with all your mind. Do good to those who persecute you pray for those who slander you and spitefully use you.
Forgive others as you've been forgiven.
make disciples Did the Christ exalting worldview says Jesus I want for my life what you want we get what God wants for our lives when we obey him. Do you obey Jesus? He says James says it is also impartial the life that results from the wisdom that is above is an impartial life. Do I treat everybody the way that I'd want to be treated?
That's in partiality right when you're cutting the pie. Do you cut the slices equal that's in partiality if you cut the pie and you get a little slice for you in a little slice for you in a little slice and then the rest of it's for me that's not being impartial. Write a Christ exalting worldview is one that seeks good for others in the same measure that you want to receive it yourself. Sincere A my sincere am I honest with others and with myself or do I try to cover up my True motives and my true thoughts? Am I sincere when when Christ is on the throne when Christ is the one being exalted we can be sincere we don't have to pretend that we have better motives than we have. We don't have to pretend that our thoughts are better than they are because it's not about us. We can honestly represent ourselves to others and say this is the mess that I am but Jesus is pretty amazing. We can be sincere. We don't have to be perfect to point others to a perfect Christ. We do have to be honest. We do have to be open we have to acknowledge our faults in our struggles and say even so Jesus. even with me Jesus is good. He can be good to you as well. Verse 18 and I love this verse. James says this is this is his summation, right? He's diet. He's helped us diagnosis self-centered Faith. He's giving us characteristics that we can evaluate and say is my life centered in Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit and then he says this and a harvest of righteousness is sown in Peace by those who make peace just like a self centered worldview impacts the way we relate to others. So in Christ centered worldview impacts the way we relate to others but instead of sewing disunity in every or disorder rather and every vile practice. A Christ centered worldview produces peace with those around us it produces righteousness in us and in the people around us as they see our good works and glorify Our Father in heaven, but it produces piece that is the opposite of disorder. This is harmony. Peace is not just the absence of violence. I want you to understand this too often. That's what we think we think like, okay. Here's War. Okay. We're not at War. There's peace. That's not peace. It is very possible to not be actively fighting and yet still not have peace because biblical peace is defined as being in the way God wants it to be things are ordered. The way God wants it to be things are right. With the world and us and with God and us peace is what we're looking for. Not merely the absence of fighting but the true and honest. Way God made things to be that's what we're looking for. And that's what James says. This is what comes this is what comes when your faith is not centered in yourself. This is what this if you can go so far. This is what church can be. When we submit to Christ instead of submitting to ourselves, we can the be a place of peace. And when there isn't peace, but we're empowered by the spirit. We make peace as quickly as we can.
Guys, this is what is being held out to us. And James is saying to us. This is what it looks like. when Christ is King, this is what it looks like when his people together say we're not going to pursue our own ends in our own desires and we're more concerned with Christ being exhausted than with anyone of us being exhausted you have
in this day and age How good does a little bit of Peace sound? James would say don't exhaust yourself exhaust Christ in every interaction exalt Christ and peace will be the result. We're going to we're going to enter into a time of response to the word of God and we've asked some hard questions of ourselves, right? We've asked him difficult things about our faith. Is it center to me or is it centered in Christ item exalting myself for my exalting ice? We don't want to walk out of here. Unchanged for having considered hard questions. And so we're going to sing a song of response and during this song. Here's the deal most of time when we're singing. I tell you this is not a performance. This is an opportunity for you to sing as well. But if right now you need to respond to this message with repentance. Was asking God to empower you for this kind of life peaceful life. You can do that right where you are. You can come for a here. You can find me Dan. If you'll raise your hand, you can find Dan and talk to him about this Richard. If you'll raise your hands, you can find Richard and talk to him, but I'm going to invite our musicians to come to lead us in a response. I'm going to ask you to pray with me.