Challenge: James 4

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Comparison, Humility, Scripture 15 Comments

It’s Day 4 of 5 on our journey through the book of James! I hope that as you read, reflect and respond you are growing more in love with our awesome LORD. Just joining us? No problem! Here are the other JAMES CHALLENGE LINKS:  Day 1 Chapter 1 Day 2 Chapter 2Day 3 Chapter 3

 James 4.8 Draw Near

After you finish your reading, take time to reflect and respond on a personal level with the LORD, then let’s discuss the verses that move us most and the lessons that God is challenging us with in His Word in the comments section below. I really love to hear from you. AND it fires me up when you guys encourage one another!


READ: Read James 4

REFLECT: Pause to consider how this passage should affect the way you believe and behave. Pray. Journal. Worship.

RESPOND: by leaving a comment below. Post your favorite verses from Chapter 4 or share how today’s reading spoke to your heart and spurred you on toward Christ. (And encourage each other! LOVE that!!!) 🙂

MY THOUGHTS on JAMES FOUR: We live a time when sass is both celebrated and encouraged, but God is clearly not a fan of our stubborn and quarrelsome ways. And we Jesus-people are not immune to these types of behavior. Keep in mind, this book is written TO BELIEVERS – not to non-believers. I’m thankful for this reminder to live humbly, in peace when possible. So much of life is about our chosen responses. 

MOTIVES MATTER – The Bible is consistent to teach us that while man looks at outward appearances, the Lord looks at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). He cares about the WHY behind our ASK. Great reminder. 

TOO MANY SHADES OF GREY: Yes. I wrote that subtle book reference on purpose. James 4 establishes that followers of Christ are NOT to live like the world lives. We are NOT to respond as the world responds. We are NOT to read what the world reads, watch what the world watches and listen to what the world listens to. We are called to live holy, set-apart lives. To be like Jesus. When I read this chapter, I’m compelled to consider: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WAY I LIVE AND THE WAY NON-BELIEVERS LIVE? If so, how much of a difference? Is it waaaaaay obvious to those who know me, or just subtle?

Did I really just go there?

Oh, yeah. 

James led the conversation. Don’t shoot the messenger. 😉

My prayer is that the LORD would lead my choices and my responses. Do I often run ahead of Him? Sadly, yes. Do I dig my heals in and behave like a quarrelsome, stubborn wife sometimes? Sadly, yes. Is the LORD willing to meet me in the middle of my rebellious, sometimes world-reflecting life? Absolutely. Will He meet you in the middle of your stuff too? 100% yes. That’s His way. It’s His Word. His Word is His promise. He is faithful.

“Humble yourself before the LORD and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Yes, please. Thank You, Father!!

PRAYER of RESPONSE: Lord, You are holy and perfectly just. Righteous in all your ways. Plant the seeds of truth found in Your Word deep – so deep – within my heart so that my life reflects Your peace and goodness. In Jesus name, amen.

WORSHIP RESPONSE: Click on the song and allow the music to lead you in continued response…

Thanks for doing life with me! Can’t wait to hear how the LORD moves in you through this challenge.

Warmly in Christ,


PS: If you enjoyed this challenge, let’s keep in touch! Subscribe to my newsletter. Big Bonus: when you subscribe to the newsletter, you will receive a free song download of my song Quiet Me ! How fun is that?

PSS: The graphics in each challenge post are PINNABLE! Share the challenge on your Pinterest Board simply by hovering over one of the graphics and clicking PIN IT. Easy peasy! :)

PSSS: Got TWITTER? Tweet out what moves you during the challenge and use the hashtag #jameschallenge (I tweet at @GwenSmithMusic)

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Comments 15

  1. Not reacting to unkind and seemingly on fair people is the hardest for me…I just want to seek God’s wisdom on each and every difficult situation…as I know this is the ONLY way for lasting peace.

  2. James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” I so appreciate this verse and love the reminder of needing to be humble in our life and for the promise that HE is always there and will lift us up. I have experienced this many times in my life and am so grateful for His guidance and grace in my life.

  3. Let me come near to God so that He might come near to me! Amen! “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
    I try to put God first in everything I do but I still need Your help!

  4. What causes fights and quarrels!? You want something but, don’t get it…this verse is so me and really pray that i can think things thru more and be more patient in arguments and seek God and his will before mine always, i always tell my children if your having a bad day…pray, and just start the day over Seek God!! Verse 7: submit yourself to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you!! In today society its so easy for the devil to sneak right in sometimes not knowingly. I know im stubborn and think i got this….not so much not like God does!! God I pray you will have your way with me Lord cleanse my heart, please show me the way…your way please be with all the ladies and gentlemen reading along inJames:)!! In Jesus name Amen

    1. I love that – telling your children that if they are having a bad day to pray and then start the day over. Great advice. I have often had to start the day over with my children. Mornings get busy and we get a little short with one another. Good to step back, pray, and see the bigger picture. This always causes me to go to my children and apologize and start the day over. Thanks for sharing.
      love verse 10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

  5. As I read James 4, I thought that’s how I am…wanting something that I couldn’t have…to stop pursuing things of the world…to seek God first and foremost and not to man…your prayer Gwen, moves me…

  6. Lots is covered in this chapter. What sticks out for me is to not speak bad about other believers. I’m guilty of this. So Lord, I ask forgiveness for I see talk like that leads to a bitter outlook and not a humble, Godly demeanor. Help me to be a true representative of You to the world, that I might show Christ to others. And turn their eyes upon Jesus. Not this world and things, power, prestige to fill the emptiness. Amen
    The song, Gwen, spoke to me too. Thank you for putting a song to our study. This is a side note. I do not know how to get the devotion. I get a bunch of blue web pages. If I click on the first one it leads me to a page that has at the very bottom some topics in small print. Under books I click Devotions. That is how I get here. There must be an easier way?? I signed up for the newsletter but I’ve never gotten one. Just this page with blue websites!!! Help! I want to connect in an easier way.
    And as in chapter three says, you have not because you ask not. Lord help me to continue getting challenges from Gwen Smith. Amen

  7. What is amazing to me is that “He gives us more grace”-Verse 5-8. It is hard to be living in this world but following Christ. At the same time only because of Him we can survive this world. It would be so easy to live in protective glass shell where you don’t see what the world has and does. James was writing to Christians who same as all of us struggle in the world of materialism. But when we humble ourselves and admit our struggles and our sin, he does not oppose us but gives grace. When I pause and ask WHY, what is my motive? In our struggles when we choose to come near him He meets us half way with his grace to overcome.

  8. I know verse 15 is something I must obey. I just wish it didn’t make me sound like my mother. Oh well. Scripture has to be obeyed.

  9. WOW!…..Isn’t it amazing that you can read something over and over and then all of a sudden it just CLICKS and a light comes on. As I was reading this chapter the Lord spoke to me about getting His people ready for His return and Oh how I want to be ready and obedient to God’s word. I want the seed of His Word to go DEEP into my heart and I want my life to reflect JESUS. I love that prayer you wrote Gwen, I said it over and over.

  10. Another convicting portion of Scripture. What hit me today like a brick wall is that, when we are friends with the world, that is adultery. It makes sense when I think about it, because we, the church, are Christ’s bride, so a relationship with anything else is adultery. Wow. Now that picture in Jeremiah makes sense, when God tells him to go purchase a slave, a prostitute, from the market and marry her, and take her back every time she runs away. I know that was about Israel, but it’s me, too. Thank you so much, Mrs. Smith, for being willing to be His messenger.

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