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Give Yourselves to God

4 1Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? Your fights and arguments come from the selfish desires that make war inside you. 2You want things, but you don't get them. So you kill and are jealous of other people. But you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You don't get the things you want because you don't ask [God]. 3Or when you ask, you don't receive. Why? Because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want things so that you can use those things for your own pleasures. 4So you people are not faithful to God! You should know that loving the world is the same as hating God. So if a person wants to be a part* of the world, then he makes himself God's enemy. 5Do you think the Scripture* means nothing? The Scripture says, "The Spirit* that [God] made to live in us wants us only for himself."* 6But the grace (kindness) that God gives is greater. Like the Scripture says, "God is against proud people, but he gives grace (kindness) to people who are humble."* 7So give yourselves to God. Be against the devil, and the devil will run away from you. 8Come near to God and God will come near to you. You are sinners. So clean sin out of your lives.* You are trying to follow God and the world at the same time. Make your thinking pure. 9Be sad, be sorry, and cry! Change your laughter into crying. Change your joy into sadness. 10Be humble before the Lord, and he will make you great.

You Are Not the Judge

11Brothers [and sisters], don't say things against each other. If you criticize your brother [in Christ] or judge him, then you are criticizing the law [he follows]. When you judge a brother [in Christ], you are really judging the law [he follows]. And when you are judging the law, you are not a follower of the law. You have become a judge! 12God is the only One who makes laws. He is the only Judge. God is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge another person.

Let God Plan Your Life

13Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money." Listen! Think about this: 14You don't know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a fog. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. 15So you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that." 16But now you are proud and you boast. All of this boasting is wrong. 17And when a person knows how to do good, but does not do good, then he is sinning.

part Literally, "friend." Scripture Part of the Holy Writings--Old Testament. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. "The Spirit ... himself" Other possible translations: "{God} strongly desires the spirit that he made to live in us." Or, "The spirit that {God} made to live in us is full of envious desires." See Ex. 20:5. "God is against ... humble" Quote from Prov. 3:34. So clean sin out of your lives Literally, "So wash your hands."

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