James 4 - Lesson

Putting God First In Our Lives


If our faith is lukewarm, God will reject us on the Day of Judgment

  • “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16.

This scripture should be a wake-up call for all of us to put God first in our lives.


Because our God is a jealous God! (Exodus 34:14, Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 4:24, Deuteronomy 6:15).

He does not want to be an afterthought that we reach out to only when we need something, or when we are in trouble. 

Instead, God wants to be the first thing that we think about when we wake up in the morning, and the last thing we think about before we go to bed.

It is only by prioritizing God in our thoughts, words, and actions that we are pleasing to God, and bring glory to Him

Anything less than that is unacceptable to God. 


As Christians, we are not to be like everybody else. 

The world places too much emphasis on money, possessions, and other worldly pleasures. 

The Bible teaches us that if we chase after these things, we will become hardened, and eventually we will become enemies of God. 

James wrote about this in the third chapter of his epistle:

  • “Friendship with the world is hostility toward God. Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” – James 4:4.

So, what are the thoughts that we should be thinking about?   

Paul answered that question for us in his letter to the Philippians:

  • “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

As Christians, we are not to be like everybody else in the world. 

We are commanded to be better than that!

Through regular Bible study, prayer, and the help of the Holy Spirit, we are to be transformed into servants of God. 

  • “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” - Romans 12:2.


In addition to prioritizing God with our thoughts, we must also prioritize God with our words.

The Bible teaches us that confessing Jesus as our Lord and Savior is not only pleasing to God, it is necessary for our salvation

  • “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” - Romans 10:9-10.

Our thoughts are important to God, but so are our words.  It is through our words that we glorify Him and let others know where we stand. 


We can have all the faith in the world, and we can confess our love for God and Jesus, but unless our faith compels us to act, it is worthless. 

Consider the following scripture:

  • “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  Even so faith if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” - James 2:14-17.


When Jesus was asked, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law,” He responded:

  • “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.” -  Mathew 22:37-38.

There is nothing ambiguous, or lukewarm about His answer. 

When Jesus was asked to explain what our highest priority should be, He responded that we are to love God with:

  1. All our heart,
  2. All our soul,
  3. All our mind.

To do this we need to prioritize God in our:

  • Thoughts,
  • Words,
  • And actions.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture from the Gospel of Mark:

  • “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:34-38.


Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Jack P.
Virtual Bible Study™

That was an interesting explanation on cold lukewarm and hot. In many decades of serving Christ I'd never heard it explained that way. The lesson reaffirms my understanding once again of Christ being at the very top of my priorities at all times throughout each day in love, and not as a forced relationship but chosen each day as awakening.

Arnold Rohail
Jack P.

Thank you so much for the explanation.

Virtual Bible Study™
Jack P.

Amen Jack. Well said! Thank you for sharing.