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James 4

4.1-8 Friends with the world

Here James explains why you must love God.

Some people love the world.

That is bad.

That is why there are a lot of troubles.

1 Why do you fight with each other?

Because you have bad desires.

These desires fight within your hearts.

2 Other people have some things.

You don’t have those things but you want them..

Because of this, you want to kill other people.

You fight and say bad words to each other.

Why don’t you have those things?

Because you don’t ask God.

3 Sometimes you ask God for the things you want.

But you still don’t receive any of those things.

Why not?

Because you have bad desires in your hearts.

You want to use those things for yourselves.

4 You are like people who are not faithful to their wives or husbands.

You must understand something:

Either you love God or else you love the world.

The truth is this:

Loving the world is the same as hating God.

People who are friends with the world are enemies of God.

5 The Bible teaches that God loves us so much that he put his Holy Spirit in us.

God wants to keep us for himself.

6 God always treat us with kindness.

The Bible says that God is against proud people.

But God is always good to humble people.

7 That is why you must be humble before God.

You must say “no” to the devil.

Then the devil will run away from you.

8a You must be friends with God.

That way, God will be friends with you.

You must choose:

  • either you love God
  • or else you love the world.

4.8b-10 The attitude of the heart

James says that you must be sorry about your sins.

You must show this to God.

James says you must be humble and God will honor you.

8b You are sinners.

Because of this, you must clean your hearts and thoughts.

9-10 You must:

  • be sad in your hearts for your sins,
  • cry to show that you are sad,
  • change your laughter for tears,
  • change your joy for sadness, and
  • be humble before God.

Then God will honor you.

4.11-12 Do not judge

Here James explains why you must not judge other people.

You are not perfect.

You cannot judge other people.

Only God can judge.

11 My dear friends, you must not say bad things about other Christians.

Saying bad things or judging other Christians is like saying bad things or judging the Law of God.

When you judge the Law you are not obeying the Law.

12 The truth is that only God can give laws and judge.

He can save you or destroy you.

You are not perfect.

Because of this, you cannot judge other people.

Women gossiping about another woman.

You cannot judge other people. Only God can judge. 

Do not say anything bad about other Christians, doing so, is like saying bad things about the Law of God.

4.13-17 You don’t know what will happen tomorrow

Here James says that you must not boast.

You don’t know the future.

Only God knows the future.

13 You must pay attention.

Some people say:

I have a plan.

Tomorrow, I’ll go to another city.

I will live there for 1 year, work and earn some money.

14 You don’t really know what is going to happen tomorrow.

People live just a short time.

Their lives are like the fog.

The fog is there for a while but then it disappears.

It is the same with your life.

15 You should speak like this:

“God has a plan for me.

I will follow God’s plan for my life.”

16 You speak proudly now.

Speaking that way is very bad.

You really cannot control the future.

God controls the future, not you.

17 Some people know the right thing to do.

But they don’t want to do it.

Knowing the right thing but not doing it, is sin.