Verse 4 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.
We ended our time together yesterday thinking about whether we are more God-focused or focused on the world. Today we will talk about what God has to say about that.
James comes to this topic with a very pointed rebuke for these believers. He knew the difference. Remember that James had a front row seat to the life of God in the flesh. He had to have witnessed a difference in the way Jesus acted and spoke about God than other peers. James would have seen the difference even between himself and Jesus. As a younger brother he may have wondered why his 12 year old brother would want to stay in the temple in Jerusalem and talk to the priests. Didn’t Jesus realize that’s what boring boys did?
James had matured though. He had seen how his brother acted when others, including James and their other brothers, made fun of Him for saying the things He said. Then James came to understand his brother was God in the flesh. This realization of who Jesus truly was gave James a better understanding of how powerfully God loves His people that He would become a part of His creation.
It was this understanding of God that had him urging his readers to see the importance of not treating God as just an addition to their lives but to make Him supreme. James understands just how important it is to not live a life that is divided between God and the world. He couldn’t be stronger in his approach to this topic, “You adulterers!” It is like he is reminding these Jewish believers of the prophets from centuries before who had told God’s people that they were prostituting themselves to the gods of this world.
We aren’t any different. We are so busy trying to be friends with the world. We are looking for the world’s approval not giving much thought to what God would give approval on. We concern ourselves more with the things of this earth than we do of the One that we claim to worship. And that only goes to prove that while we claim God with our lips, we are actually in a relationship with the world. James knew that is a serious offense and goes as far as reminding his readers, including us, that we can’t be friends with God and the world, so to be friends with the world, we are claiming with our actions that God is our enemy. Can there be a more serious offense? Not according to God.
Making It Personal
Where does your life reflect more of a love for the world than a love for God? How does it feel to know that because of that thing, God considers you as an adulterer? Do you want to change?
Making It Personal Kids
Why can’t you be friends with Jesus and the world? What does Jesus want you to do to show that you love Him? Do you love Him more than the world?
Father, thank You for the reminder that only You should be on the throne of our heart. Give us clear reminders anytime we start looking to the world instead of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.