Courage – Gospel in Life


Tim Keller |  March 3, 1996

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James 4:4-10
RS 266-15

James 4:4–10

Studying the book of James shows us how important it is to live our faith through our actions. It warns against being too attached to worldly things and encourages us to be humble, put our trust in God, resist the devil, and strive to be close to God. Christianity isn’t just about beliefs; it’s about letting our faith change every part of our life. This includes making sure our actions reflect our beliefs, understanding our identity as Christians, and nurturing our relationships, which are often compared to marriage.

1. Our relationship with God and his relationship with us is like a loving choice

Being a Christian isn’t just following rules or having a business deal with God. It’s more like being in love with God, similar to the deep love that leads to marriage. Our longing for love is a reflection of our longing for God, and only He can satisfy this longing with His everlasting love. This love was there before the world began, choosing us to be in a relationship based on loving choice.

2. Our relationship with God and his relationship with us involves vulnerability and commitment

Living as a Christian, which is like being married to God, means we aim to make God, our Beloved, happy by understanding His rules as a reflection of His desires and willingly following them. It’s not about fear or strict rule-following, but a love-inspired obedience that doesn’t want to disappoint God. This attitude changes us and helps us resist sin. Even though we might be afraid of losing our independence, we should remember that God, despite our past mistakes, is always loving. This teaches us the importance of being open and committed in our relationship with Him.

3. Our relationship with God and his relationship with us has the potential for deep, passionate closeness

God’s promise to His people, as shown in Ezekiel 16, highlights the idea of passionate intimacy, which also applies to our relationship with God. Our prayers shouldn’t just be a way to share information; they should be deeply emotional, honest, and a way to experience God’s love. But if we put worldly things before God, we end up feeling stressed, anxious, and bitter. On the other hand, if we truly embrace our relationship with God, we can live with confidence and strength.



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