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Friday, February 23: But he gives us more grace

Faith WorksRelying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James, in his New Testament letter, asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith, helping you encounter and better follow Jesus to bless a broken world.

Read James 4:1-6

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

"God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble."

Reflect

James sounds a bit like an angry parent rebuking a bunch of unruly children, and perhaps selfish and childish behavior too often characterizes the church of Jesus. To bottom-line this harsh scolding, James says that God honors the humble, but not the proud. Do you see this truth in the world around you? What about in the church?

Respond

Do you believe that pride is one of the most offensive sins in God's eyes? Why or why not?

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