“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
~ James 4:7
Hi James and Ellen,
How often do you quarrel or fight between yourselves? Do you think that it is okay to quarrel or fight between yourselves? Your grandpaa and your grandpaa’s sis Cate – when they were kids, would sometimes quarrel and fight. Your grandpaa and your dad’s Aunt Cate are really good friends today. Do you think that Jesus – when He was a kid, quarreled or fought with His half bros? When Jesus was a kid, He lived in a house that probably was not much larger than the sitting room of the townhouse where you are living now. They house that Jesus would have lived in over 2000 years ago would have had thick rock walls. Jesus’ dad and ma – whose names where Joseph and Mary, had several boys. Joseph and Mary named one of their kids James. When James’ half bro – Jesus, arose from the tomb where He had been entombed after having been crucified on a cross for His specially chosen guys, gals and kids and after Jesus ascended from planet Earth to heaven to sit at the right hand side of God – as God the Father, where He is advocating for His specially elected guys, gals and kids, James surfaced as being a leader of a new belief/worship paradigm and an emerging Christ-follower community of guys, gals and kids that had been sparked by his half bro. Do you think that Jesus and James quarreled or fought between themselves? Would you like to live with your dad and ma – and with any bros or sisters that you might have, in a house that is not much larger – if larger at all, than the sitting area of the townhouse where you are living now? Your grandmaa and grandpaa had the Centro de Capacitación (Center of Learning) married guys – who were students at the rural resident Bible education and leadership training center that was located in Concepción, Nuflo de Chávez in Bolivia, live with their families in rooms that were smaller that the sitting area in the townhouse where you are living now. The family units who were at the Centro de Capacitación never complained about having to for six times – for thirteen weeks each time over a two year period, live in – which meant sleeping, eating, studying, etc., in rooms which probably to you would have been a real stretch for you to do. Most of the Centro de Capacitación married guys – and single guys, grew up in small houses that had walls made from mud bricks or from muck and sticks. The training center that was located in Concepción offered a better living condition for most of the Centro de Capacitación students and their families. It was expected that each Centro de Capacitación married student – with the help of their families, would always keep their rooms neat and clean. One of the Centro de Capacitación graduates – Raúl Pedraza, told your grandpaa one day that the most difficult thing for he and his family to do during the two years that they lived at the rural resident training center in Concepción, Bolivia was to get along with the other Centro de Capacitación students and their families. Your grandmaa and grandpaa did not tolerate any quarreling or fighting between any guy, gal or kid at the rural resident training center that was located in Concepción, Nuflo de Chávez in Bolivia. Your grandpaa made up designated punishments for any quarreling or fighting between training center students or between the spouses of the married training center students. The initial punishment would be for the Centro de Capacitación student to chop firewood – even if it was his wife or his kid who . . . during the two hours of assigned work. If that did not stop the quarreling or fighting, the Centro de Capacitación student would be told that he could not attend the scheduled classes until . . . your grandpaa used this punishment just once. That punishment made Hugo Terseros take a whole lot more seriously his wife’s periodic bickering with some of the other Centro de Capacitación student wives.
What do you think that the relationship was like between Jesus and James? James – in James 4, in the short missive that he scribed and had circulated among the guys and gals who had fled the persecution that was taking place in the city of Jerusalem, wrote about quarreling and fighting. James saw quarreling and fighting as evidence of the underlining sinful nature that haunts every guy, gal and kid who has lived on, who is living on and who will live on planet Earth – with the exception of his big bro – Jesus. James considered quarreling and fighting as evidence of a guy, gal or kid having a weak relationship with God while living on Satan’s turf. James used emphatic verbiage to tell the guys and gals who would read his letter that having an unwholesome friendship with an enemy of God was communicating to God that they hated Him. James sums up his expectation in verse 7 of what he expects every guy, gal and kid to do regarding Satan, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James’ counsel for how to get along with other kids – and with guys and gals, is to go to God first for help. If you first go to God for help, God will be right there next to you to help you when a kid – or a guy or gal, wants to quarrel or fight with you. If you have not yet been purified by the blood of James’ half bro – Jesus, James calls you a double-minded kid. God – as God the Father – per James, will not help any kid – or any guy or gal, who has not humbled himself or herself before Him by confessing his or her sins to Him. James also wrote very strongly about never ever saying a bad thing about another kid – or about a guy or gal. James also wrote very strongly about never ever making earning a lot of money a life priority. In comparing the life tenure of a guy, gal or kid on planet Earth to a mist that vanishes as quickly as it appears, James says that it is counted as a sin not to do what is good to do when what is good to do is known. Your grandpaa has to confess that he is not a James fan. Even though James says a lot of right on target things in his circular missive, your grandpaa wishes that he had not opened the good works box.
James 4 (817)