Updated: Feb 28
Saturday - February 27th
Devotionals from the Book of James
Scripture to Read Today: James 4:1-10
Submit yourselves...to God.
Resist the devil... Come near to God...
Wash your hands, and purify your hearts.
Grieve, mourn and wail.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord....
In 1966, the Procrastinators Club of Philadelphia protested the War of 1812. The spoof of Vietnam War protests of the time got quite a bit of attention. Most major newspapers in America included a photo of the event - many even used it above the fold on the front page. While a statement on the current political conflict of the time, the photo still makes people smile.
Procrastination in many areas of life can be a dangerous thing. Delayed action regarding our finances, health, relationships, and careers can do irreparable damage to our lives and the lives of those we love the most.
Procrastination never helps us in our spiritual lives either. Many say they will get serious about God at some later point but never do. James 4:7-10 calls us to get serious about God when our hearts have drifted from Him. James, the half-brother of Jesus, uses ten verbs in these four verses. All ten verbs are in the biblical Greek imperative mood and aorist tense. Writers of Scripture rarely use four or five verbs right in a row with the same mood and tense. So, utilizing ten such verbs in this way stands out.
Each command calls the reader who recognizes they have drifted away from God to action. The call is to take action without delay. The use of the imperative mood and aorist tense encourages action to be taken now, not later. What James calls the reader to is anything but procrastination. In recent years, the church has talked about "come to Jesus moments." They are not moments of salvation in this reference. They are moments when someone must get serious about something in their lives. James calls us to a "come to Jesus" moment with the commands of James 4:7-10. The imperatives he uses call us to a decisive moment, not a procrastinated event.
Here are the ten "come to Jesus moment" commands of this passage:
Submit yourselves to God
Resist the devil
Draw near to God
Wash your hands
Purify your hearts
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom
Humble yourself before God
The verbs "submit," "resist," "draw near" speak of yielding ourselves to God. "Wash" and "purify" call us to repentance and holiness. Our sin should cause us to "grieve," "mourn," and "wail." Genuine repentance and brokenness over our waywardness and guilt will lead us to "change our laughter to mourning and our joy to gloom." Ultimately, the tenth verb commands us to humble ourselves before God. Quite the "come to Jesus moment!" Truly James challenges us to get serious with God and do it now. No procrastination!
How long has it been since you bowed down before God and confessed your waywardness, selfishness, and sin? Have you drifted from the Lord throughout the last year of political strife, personal isolation, and the global pandemic? Get serious about your relationship with God. Don't wait. Walk yourself through the ten commands of James 4:7-10. Don't procrastinate. Do it today!
When we drift away from God, He calls us to get serious about our commitment to and relationship with Him!