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2601 24th Ave SE
Norman, OK 73071

405-329-0823

CrossPointe Church in Norman, OK is truly a church with a heart. With services, activities, and classes for adults, kids, students, and seniors, CrossPointe has a place for you. We offer three worship venues with three distinct styles of music.

James: Heart in Hand - Fighting the Right Fight

Sermons

James: Heart in Hand - Fighting the Right Fight

Mike Butler

We all fight at some point. There are moments when we feel like we have to stand up and stand firm. Other times we feel like our voice must be heard because so much is at stake. The problem is that sometime our fight is not really about anyone but ourselves. This week, Pastor Butler talks with us from James 4 about how to look for the heart of our “fights” and how it is that most of the time, we are fighting against God and not for Him. Join us Sunday morning at either 9:00 or 10:30. We have a number of opportunities for children, students, and adults. For more information about CrossPointe visit us at www.crosspointe.tv or contact us at 405-329-0823.

James 4:1-7, NIV 2011 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  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. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Our fights with others are actually just fights with ourselves.

James 4:1, NIV 2011 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you.”

Proverbs 25:28, The Message “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.”

We fight with ourselves because we are unsatisfied.

James 4:2-3, NIV 2011 “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Matthew 5:21-22, NLT “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,* you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

We fight with ourselves because we have made God our enemy.

James 4:4-6, NIV 2011 “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. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

If we are to win this fight, then we must submit to defeat.

James 4:7-12, NIV 2011  “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  

We may have to admit:

  1. We are adulterers.

  2. We are enemies.

  3. We are false or have been false Christians.

James 4:8-12, NIV 2011  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  

If we are to win this fight, then we must learn to be better friends.

James 4:11-12, NIV 2011 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?”

James 1:26-27, NLT If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

James 2:12-13, NLT So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.  13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

James 3:9-12, NLT  Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

Proverbs 25:13, The Message “Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!”

Proverbs 25:23, The Message “A north wind brings stormy weather, and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.”

Benediction

Colossians 4:6, NIV 2011 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Reflection Questions

  1. James says that we war and battle with each other because we war within ourselves.  Have you ever considered that before? (e.g. I am angry with my position in life and so I took it out on my kids; I believe I am due more respect in general, so when she said that I felt it was an attack on me personally; etc.)  How does this change the reason behind our arguments?

  2. As you reflect on James 4:4-6, why do you think James refers to the listeners as adulterers? Have you ever considered that the conflicts you have are really based on desires that speak to your faithfulness to God?

  3. How does James 4:6 give encouragement to you today?

  4. Read James 4:7-12.  How does James’ instruction about getting our hearts right before God challenge you to so some self-reflection? What are some areas that you sense God is calling you to change?

  5. In James 4:11-12, we find that we are are to treat each other respectfully and honorably.  Can you think of a time when you felt dishonored or disregarded? How has that impacted the way you have treated others? What do these verses have to say about the type of friends we are?

  6. Can you think of one person you need to be a better friend to?  What can you do this week to try and be a better friend to them? (e.g. impromptu lunch, “random” call to check on them, take a “just because” package to them, etc.)