i started reading james after matthew. i remember it being a super convicting book in areas that i really struggle with. today was chapter 4. and it will probably be it again tomorrow.
"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
and if that wasn't powerful enough...
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you."
there are so many commands in those last verses. and strong commands at that. submit, resist, draw near, cleanse, purify, be wretched, mourn, weep, humble, turn. ok, those last two aren't exactly verbs, but you get the picture. i don't know what to make of all this, except that i have a lot of growing to do. ultimately, i think it starts with submitting to God and i can't think i've done that just because i sang a cute song or even because i read this powerful piece of scripture. i need to submit simply because He deserves it and is worthy of my submission.