DIFFERENT, BUT STILL THE SAME: Remember that as we read through James that each chapter stands alone and that it's not really building on the chapter that came before or leading into the chapter that follows. The letter is likely a collections of sermons that James had taught that were sent out to churches James could not physically go to (like us, for example). Even the individual chapters consist of several independent units. Chapter 3 has either two or three: v1-2 (although a case can be made that these two go with the following verses), v3-12, and v13-18.
Even though these are individual passages, all three of today's lessons draw from the same root concept: that what comes out of us must reflect what is in us (or phrased differently, what we are in).
THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN THE BIBLE: Last Sunday evening we learned about what it means to be called a Christian, which can be summarized in two words: a Christian is a person who is in Christ. Paul uses this phrase over 90 times in his letters, and although James doesn't use it at all, the idea is still very much at the core of James' teaching. In chapter four, James tells us that what we teach, what we say, and what we think all must reflect what we're in: Christ.
THE MORE YOU PUT IN, THE MORE WILL COME OUT: Re-read v16. If you fill yourself with greed, greed will come out. Now re-read v17-18. What do you suppose you need to fill yourself with to be that way?
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is the overflowing fountain of everything good (Belgic Confession, Article 1)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will teach God's truth, speak God's praise, and think with Godly wisdom.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: