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October 22 – Knowing and reacting to the jealous love of God

He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us – James 4:5b

Scripture reading: James 4:5-10

The fact that we are human beings with spirits should cause us to see that we are special in God’s sight. But this special position also means we have unique responsibilities as humans. He created all human beings to be in a worshipping and serving relationship with Him. This is why James says God yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us.

As God sees us worshipping and serving our pleasures, our occupations, or the idols of our days, He yearns jealously for our hearts and souls. In His jealous love, God, out of grace, sent His Son to redeem us and bring us back into fellowship with Him. Therefore, God humbles or changes our hearts so that we will admit we have wayward hearts and will plead for God’s forgiving love. James describes what this humbling before God looks like. It involves submitting to God’s Word but also resisting and fleeing from the devil and his schemes.

In calling us to clean our hands and purify our hearts, James is really calling us to run to Jesus and live in the joy of His salvation. There must be a deep mourning about our sinful nature, and all the wickedness we are capable of. We also need to weep over the actual sins we have done in our lives. All this should cause us to be humble before our Lord, seeking His grace. The wonderful thing about doing this is that our Lord Jesus Christ will lift us up in the joy of His salvation.

Suggestions for prayer

That we would humble ourselves before our LORD knowing that He will exalt us, in the joy of salvation.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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