(Neglected to write these down so far this week and am catching up. That's on me! Here are my notes if you trust them from Dr. Chris' sermons, the continuing series on James.)
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
James 4: 2-3 -- "You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. 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."
*Many of our problems are spiritual; spiritual problems demand spiritual solutions.
* Other problem-causers: Satan, sickness, other people's sinful behavior. But MOST problems are pilot error -- our sinfullness, choices, behaviors, attitudes, not doing things God's way.
How To Attack Disobedience to God
1. Really PRAY: "...you don't have because you don't ask God." (v. 2)
* On average, pastors in America pray only 7 minutes a day. So most laypeople, you would figure, pray less than that. Pray pray pray!
Phillipians 4:6 "Don't worry but through prayer and supplication make your requests known to God..."
* This demands we be right with God. Matt 6:14-15 -- we have to forgive if we are going to have a prayer life
Isaiah 59:1-2 -- "...your sins had hidden His face so he cannot hear you..."
God hears prayers of men and women who are trying honestly to be right with God
*This demands we understand some basics of God.
* This demands we pray with a pure heart (v. 3)
"Purify my heart, Lord. May you be glorified by this. May your will be done, which is always best."
Real prayer changes things, and it always changes us.
WILL YOURS GET YOU THERE?
* Do I have what it takes to get to heaven?
2 Corinthians 13:5 asks us to examine ourselves to see if we are 'in the faith.'
Faith in Christ is what will get us to heaven
* (v. 19) "You believe in one God; even the demons believe that, and shudder."
* Do I have faith in Christ?
* Do I have a faith in Christ that will get me to heaven?
3 Things About Saving Faith
1. It involves your head (Romans 10:9-10)
2. It involves your heart, opening your heart to him (John 3:3)
3. It affects your hands; it changes your behavior (James 2:15-16)
Real saving faith moves from your head to your heart to your hands
* When did you give your life to Christ? TWhat was the date, or at least the year or time of year or time of day? This is an EVENT, not a process, like sanctification is. When did the old self die and the new self begin to live? Has your life and behavior been changed?
* Are you a Jesus follower or are you a 'genuine replica'? ... in other words, a real fake.
*Unless we've possessed a faith that's possessed us and it's changed our behavior, we are at best genuine replicas.