James 4:1-3

Our Scripture Reading for today:

James 4:1           What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 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. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.


James is really clear on the matter of money and what we do to get it… There was a man out at the corner of Keyser and Oak streets the other day with a sign that said “Honk if you love money”… Well, there were PLENTY of honkers! I wanted to get a sign too and stand with him that said: “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6) Why do countries go to war? Why do people fight and quarrel? It is most often because they want something that isn’t theirs! Plain and simple!

And so the question IS: Are there no pleasures that the Lord wants us to enjoy? Is it out of line to desire that we seek the money to obtain a pleasure? And what WOULD be the proper motive to ask God for something? Is it wrong to ask God for a bigger house, a nicer car, a week long vacation to Disney Land?

This morning I got an email invitation to go to the Holy Land (I get them all the time)… I would love to go, but I wonder what exactly my motives are. Are they just for the adventure and fun of it? Or are my desires truly spiritual – that I go to literally follow in Christ’s footsteps? And is it wrong to have BOTH motivations? Perhaps if I had a PURE and Godly motive, perhaps God would find me a way?

This is, of course, related to the 9th and 10th commandment to be content with what you have. It is important to be able to enjoy what God has given us, but at the same time just be content with it. If we are going to be asking for more, we have to be sure that our motives are actually to better serve God, not just make us “happier”. We all KNOW that a better house and a nicer car really are NOT going to make us happier people!


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