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James 4 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. 1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?
2 You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. 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 And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way. 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're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. 4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
5 And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
6 And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble." 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
7 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
11 Don't bad-mouth each other, friends. It's God's Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You're supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. 11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
12 God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others? 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?
13 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Today - at the latest, tomorrow - we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." 13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."
14 You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
15 Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that." 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
16 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
17 In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don't do it, that, for you, is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.