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October 20, 2019 1:00 am
Artist of James chapter 3 all right. I'm sorry. We finished up the check for James chapter 4 and ongoing had to be brief tonight. All right, I'm not going keep you after the time it's your vigil. Have you have teachers lesson preview not did you did have on James chapter 4, James is this local church pastor and again what's what's pretty fascinating about the book of James is he's writing to people who are physically suffering for the faith in ways you and I can't comprehend that not every faithful man of God. Every faithful Christian will suffer some for their faith. This will happen, you would have friends that won't hang with you long-term.
By the way, if you're younger person that enough for me today. That's 35 or 49 under if you're younger person and you had had some friendship bust up because your commitment to Christ and truth. I mean from people whom you thought were Christians than your the rare exception, you will face stuff like that just normal stuff.
The apostle Paul goes come to the end of his ministry is a very everybody forsaken me. But Luke is just part it now. Don't try to make it happen. You just love Jesus spent on the truth and it will happen. So there's a difficult stuff in every person's life that honors the Lord in this godforsaken world that's full of hypocrisy and compromise and apostasy. Even but James is writing to people who are literally on the run for their lives. Many of them living much of a vagabond hotline from hoping to find a little group of Christians in the next town they go into that feed them and let them get a good night sleep or something so a tough environment, but he also has to deal with some of the most ungodly stuff so sometimes people say bold when you're when you're really suffering for Jesus that that's when you're real godly.
Not necessarily. Sometimes some folks in the most difficult of circumstances have the deepest compromise and that seemed to be what James is having to contend with. As he says in James chapter 4 verse one what is the source of the quarrels and conflicts among you is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members. You lust and do not has to you commit murder speaking hypothetically not saying you've actually murdered could've happened, but that's not the city. What were James from you lust and do not have. So you commit murder you are eating this and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask, and you ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God.
Therefore whoever wishes to be the friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God's all talk about pleasures just for a moment pleasures being that desire for fulfillments that come out of a base fleshly craving. It means so when you are just being driven for the shallow, hollow and temporal pleasures of this life with not a higher pursuit are greater pursuit I should say at the higher pleasures that we found in God and God alone. But he says when you get on that level were you professing Christian, I think he's talking lost church members primarily when you get on that level where you're being driven along like the average Joe and Jane in the world that don't know God, then you have lots of troubles that's a lot of things in your life because you profess to be a Christian and you're living like you love the world I he talks about the pursuit of these pleasures and in our world. It's been going on for generations. You hear it all the time. A shorter work week more break times more holidays more vacations or earlier retirement. That's kinda reversing the Social Security and it is getting lighter now but nevertheless we hear that from people all the time and I think that's because the people of the world are left in what they have and that is they see the pursuit of worldly pleasures is the only purpose for life that were not stick in the mud suite do enjoy the common grace is God's given us is just that he's given us higher pleasures, higher pursuits, then just what our friends in the world know and understand James Baker saying don't go back there and function there because you've been released you've been liberated from that loan base pursuit of pleasures.
Only the world understand the higher pleasures that only true Christians can grab. I guess balance is a good word here.
So to outline these pleasures. This way seems there's a desire for rest base entertainments sexual fulfillment, materialism and incidents an indictment on our present culture and how everything is driven by the base pursuits of pleasure, and it shown in this one fact everything is becoming defined by person's sex drive. What are we beast the sex drive is a wonderful God-given gift but it doesn't define who I am.
It's a gift from God is to be enjoyed in marriage to the glory of God. But now everything is about sex drive like we are nothing more than physical based beings that functional some sort of animalistic beastly in-state drive for sexual fulfillment.
What a terrible and and and and and dishonoring of what God's made us to be. We are made in the image of God, not in the image of dogs and cats who are driven and owned by their sex drives and their appetites. James is basically say when you get down there when you begin to function with worldly pleasures as your primary goal in your pipe. Remember, so you have lots of troubles. Now some point under the pursuit of pleasure and they would be the possessive power of pleasure. Once you get in this it begins to own you. There's a strong hold of in this it just going to let you go I verse one he talks about that is not the source of your pleasures that wage war in your members. So this waging of war inside. It's a consuming fire inside. It's an endless pursuit that is never satisfied, was the proverb say that a fire is never satisfied, you can throw a log on the fire. You can throw gasoline with you whatever you want to fire a fire, never says that's enough. Don't give me more more. There is a a possessive power to pleasure that just keep building it on bit and less God intervenes, men will destroy himself and these base pursuits of pleasure primarily sexual pleasures and as he gives himself over to worship his sexual desire. That's a wicked form of rebellion and idolatry, and it begins to become perverse and unnatural and and perverted and that's our culture today. It has a possessive nature to it. That's why Proverbs 2117 says he who loves pleasure will become a poor man year that you really knew eventually that you may actually die with the big bank account you still bankrupt and what really matter you die with the big bank account, but you are bankrupt the people who respect you and really love you. You die with the big bank account which are bankrupt of children and grandchildren that respects you and honored.
So there's a lot of different kinds of poverty out there nothing wrong with dying with the big bank account.
Not necessarily. That's when you and God on those things. But did it become the pursuit of your life, not just that any worldly pleasure. The unbridled pursuit for pleasure will lead to ruin Romans chapter 7 is that chapter where Paul talks about the fact that he can't control his old nature that he wants to do good and he ends up not doing. He wants to honor God's law and ends up violating God's law that he gets to the end of chapter 7, he says, a wretched man that I am who will deliver me from the body of this death is his thanks be to God Jesus Christ our Lord. One day, were going to be free from all of this passion to drag us away from what we really need. So there's a possessive element to this when you get into it.
It just gets stronger and stronger the deeper and deeper stronghold on our lives. None of snuff not only the possessive power of pleasure, but the painful price of pleasure. Once again he talks about waging war in your members.
That's not a desirable or happy place to be then look at verse two. It slashes over to where we have lots of trouble with those around us in our social circles. You lost that word lust doesn't always have to be evil. That's just the Greek word that could be a strong desire for anything in this context, though it's a lust of a strong desire for things that you've made an idol of the pleasures of this world for this context. It is an evil thing you lust and do not have. So what you commit murder. We are, we have a culture for millions and millions and millions of women so lust position possessions well that they will kill their babies. You lust and do not have.
So you commit murder how accurate the Bible is not bothered if you talk to an ardent fitment ardent feminist said why would you do that. Why would you choose to kill your unborn child why would you choose to promote it and celebrate it and commended and defended. We will have a minute.
We want we don't lose that job. I noblewoman personally who simply was not in her career where she wanted to be to kill that baby you lust and Philip going to get it. So you commit murder. Don't think this is some culture out there. We don't know about where living this reality, it's a given over a giving over to the base desires pleasures if you will, fulfillments of the world that actually are all lies, quarrels and conflicts when one is dominated by his flesh and fleshly pleasures.
He will begin. If left there long enough to walk on anyone else to gain that pleasure.
We built more than a few times in our church with alcoholics and drug addicted foe and how they will coming to the most. The dearest loved ones in their families.
They will lie to see use and abuse them for their next fix. The one who's controlled by the flesh is just destined for quarrels and conflict. Then he took the tells us something about the contamination and condemnation of the world jump down to verse for you. Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship the world is hostile hostility. Rather, before God for whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself the enemy of God. When a person gets involved as their primary pursuit, the pleasures of this world. He, for he he actually comes at it slowly. First there is the friendship of the world. He stays in it, he begins to love the world and its pleasures and then finally he experiences the condemnation of those who are of this world. That's why think this is primarily speaking to unsafe churchmen. He uses the phrase in verse four you spiritual adulterers and the point is, before you are saved your husband was the law of God, and he was not a good husband. The law of God condemned you the law of God constrained you the law of God could do nothing to free you, but to show you as up all in the and worthy of divine retribution and condemnation, and that was your husband. But then in grace upon grace, goodness upon goodness live upon love mercy upon mercy God rescued you through Jesus Christ to Yahweh Peter Morris to relate to each of the law and that he didn't divorce you. The law has died, and therefore you are free because your husband is bad in your new husband is Jesus Christ piece by spouse pays my provider piece.
My lover pays my friend. Here's what he saying you got something so glorious of you to go out as the pursuit of your life now and make this world and its pleasures.
Your main goal.
That's nothing but spiritual adultery you've been given something far better, far, far better. The Old Testament prophets use that term often with Israel when she would become Bob occur IRI rather walk in a craving afferent will be like the nations of the world around her, would adopt the gods of the Egyptians of the gods of the Babylonians of the gods of the Assyrians and it always the same to be some sort of radial worship, the prophet, so your spiritual adulterers you have one husband mess Jehovah God, you begin to embrace the gods of this world. You see, he jealously guards what is God's. And that's the Holy Spirit jealously guards just as a husband and wife have a holy, loving jealousy for one another and God the Holy Spirit is grieved when we sin against God's love by pursuing this world pleasures and not the infinite lasting solid pleasures of God, he says another way, invert backup in verse for the last part that you are. If your friend of the world. Last phrase you make yourself an enemy of God. You see the world is the enemy of the father. Just as the flesh is that in enemy of the spirit.
This whole world system. The structure this world and all of its general pursuits and desires is anti-God is contrary to God the father, God the Holy Spirit comes in us at conversion and he begins to change our desires and lead us to new pursuit and the old fallen flesh man that were still encased in peace. The enemy of the Holy Spirit, and so were to be in the pattern if you will, of learning to embrace the higher pleasures not denying that they're not good pleasures down here, but they're just hollow pleasures. I mean this sincerely. I hope when your team beat up on my team last night.
By the way, one or two plates, all what one or two raft lags.
What about the second this boy when you get up. He pushing them like a flag we turn football into little sissy game know Alabama's better thing. There's no doubt about that but wanted to place but here's what I want to say and him limiting the seriously.
I hope at the end of those games you said that response always fun to be tenancy, not as much fun as beaten Alber but it's fun to be tenancy but hope after it happened something and uses that's fundamentalist, not my greatest joy. That's fine with us. Not my the displeasure.
I think see that's normal Christian thinking. It is not rob you of that fun is just the greatness of saying but if Alabama and some happens and we don't win much anymore for a decade then I still got my chief joy good widely with you don't lose the other. You set some mass and something else that's infinitely better, infinitely better well is talk just briefly about proper pleasure. Though James doesn't pointed out in this particular text of the balance of biblical truth, I will point out and that is that God does not call us to be more's in the monastery. Remember the old monk. It's an old, old illustration but the old monk decided he was going to get rid of the world and the lust of the world.
So he went to a faraway remote cave and put himself in there with only bread and water just to pray and read the Bible and seek God and he stayed in their week or two and realize it's something I brought the entire world in here with me. You can't punish yourself and holiness so that we understand that pleasure can be a good thing. Pleasure define baby as rest are recreation our relaxation in the appropriate measure to the benefit of making us effective servants for God. The point is we seek God and God's will, not pleasure as our ultimate aim.
Pleasure is a tool used in our pursuit of God in our service to God and even our pleasures and God I hope you've grown to where you learn that sometimes you're exhausted and you have to get away from the stuff that does that demand so much of your emotional and physical energies and when you get away from it. You can rejoice and say God I have to rest because you never have to rest I have to rest because I am weak or strong you take me just like I am in got nothing rejoices in the godly attitude of proper rest and proper print pleasures in its proper balance. In other words, pleasure is not in the end in itself, unless is the pleasure of God. The worldly pleasures. I mean those things in darkness, or let evil are good to the end that they serve us in our hot pursuit of finding pleasure in God, my goodness, I just commend you again in all of these many many years. If you had not released me from the typical defined structure of Pastore work if you'd kept me under the thumb of the kind of things most pastors face. I would've I would've been gone a long time could made it just couldn't make it and I hope as I've said many times, I hope your gracious and godly understanding of how I need to balance my time and energies has been a benefit to you from what I've been able to do from this pulpit.
Of these, 38+ years. So pleasure is good and kept in balance but it can be wrong either by the amount of time we spend in our the amount of value we played place on it. It is God who gave the Sabbath rest.
There is a a a a a cycle of work and rest God has built into our physical and emotional being.
That's why think we have God resting on the seventh day of Ecclesiastes says there is a time for rest, but God never meant for man to look at his face, fallen lust and pleasures and make them the pursuit of his life. He is to be the pursuit of our lives. And when we have those pleasures that lost men also enjoy going fishing had a good meal. Take a good vacation fan water is when apples pleasures. We fully enjoy them but in a different way than than men do who do not know God, so it's a fatal flaw to make it your ultimate go you see when pleasure becomes your God, it takes both the reward out of your work and the fulfillment out of your pleasure, the God of pleasure is deceptive and he's impotent that he cannot deliver what we demand of him. Here's a key thought. You can love pleasure and how pleasure as your arrival and purpose. Although you never have much of it is something will get indecisive.
Another brother, sister and man I dissent that the kind of job they have some time off to have leisure that others don't have. And they make money that other people don't make and I buy nice things made other people can't buy and there's cunningly said that they said they must not be godly. They might be spiritual know you may be more ungodly because you lust for it, even though you don't have it. Be careful how you define these things and when we lust for it, and we don't have it we get what James says quarrels and conflicts and troubles in our lives. You know why because we expect our pleasures to give us something God only mistake this white week week week we expect our pleasures to give us something that only God can give us. That's why we keep having this unending file perverse notions of sexual fulfillment in our culture.
It just goes deeper and more strange and more weird and more perverse because it doesn't give what we thought it could give again. These things are wonderful gift from God, not the perversion of the skiffs of sexuality, but only in balance with finding our great pleasures in God who created us and made us and gave us these desires so don't live for pleasure make your pleasure living for the Lord, take time for pleasure only as needed to keep yourself effective for the Lord. People who live for pleasure are always looking for that magic something that will somehow change their lives.
When the real problem is within their own heart's something else out there. I get that next whatever know the whatever you need is him and he's right there if you look to come and dine the master call or come and done, you can feast Jesus table any time on your sickbed on your deathbed when you're in your greatest days of learning and satisfaction of accomplishment this anytime he can big your endless supply pleasure and joy. You fed the multitude turned the water in the wine coming down the master call with come in the he does. But the problem is within us the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart is focused on the wrong stuff.
So can I charge you to not hold dear friend cannot charge you not look to Jesus look to him young person. Some of your not yet saved look to Jesus telling your center and cry out to him, this world will rob you it will not give you what that would you think it's going to get only Jesus could