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Quiet Time in James 4

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

James 4 (HCSB)

Proud or Humble

1 What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.

4 Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy. 5 Or do you think it’s without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously?

6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says:

God resists the proud,

but gives grace to the humble.

7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Our Will and His Will

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.


SIN (verses 11-12): God, please forgive me for how unrighteously judgmental I often am towards others. Remove these negative judgmental thoughts from my head and help me be more like Christ--more humble and loving.

PROMISE (verse 6): God, you tell us that You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Help me to be more humble so I can be enveloped in Your grace.

ATTITUDE (verses 11-12): God, please help me to change my worldly attitude of being so critical of others in ways that do not glorify You. Help me to be more humble and love in ALL that I do so that my thoughts, words, and actions always glorify You.

COMMAND (verses 15-17): You command us to not boast in arrogance and to always do what we know is God's good. The only way we can know Your good is to build that intimate relationship with You, Lord.

EXAMPLE (verses 7-11): In these verses You lay out a template of the things we're to do and embody to exemplify Your glory:

  • submit to God

  • resist the devil

  • draw near to God

  • cleanse ourselves of sin

  • purify our hearts

  • don't criticize one another

  • be doers of Your will

To do these, You've emphasized the importance of building our relationship with You--submit to God and draw near to God. Help me to continue to make my relationship with You my priority.

*DAILY NOTE: The book of James as a whole is definitely speaking to me. God is speaking to me and revealing to me quite a bit of my issues. James 4 is right on point with a lot of my thoughts and judgment issues.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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