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1. The root of conflict

  • Scripture Reference: James 4:1-3,  Romans 7:23-25, 
  • Leader Notes
    • All of conflict is found within you and I, and our desires for pleasure. It’s an inward problem. 
    • Are the prayers we pray for our own pleasure, or for God’s will to be done in our lives? It is always more blissful when God fulfills his plans for us, versus us getting it done for ourselves.
    • Spiritual maturity is found in us when we begin to ask,  “what part do I play in this conflict?”. 
  • Question for Reflection: How do I create conflict with others?

2. Choose your friends wisely

  • Scripture Reference: James 4:4-6, 1 John 2:15-17; Proverbs 3:34
  • Leader Notes
    • If you are a friend of the world, then you are an enemy God. The world is a system of life, not centered around holiness, but rather sin. 
    • You are the sum average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. 
      • Exercise: write down the 5 people you spend the most time with and rate them 1-5 for 4 different categories: finances, marriage, stress management, relationship with the Lord. Then add up the numbers from each person you rated and divide by 5 for each category. 
    • If you love  the things of the world that are outside of the authority of the Father, then you don’t know the love of the Father. 
  • Question for Reflection: Where do I have friendship with the world?

3. Humility leads to exaltation

  • Scripture Reference: James 4:6-10,Matthew 5:3-4
  • Leader Notes
      • The ultimate act of humility is when we say to Jesus, “You are God, and I am not”. The world says the opposite, that you should trust in you, not God. 
      • In a world where there is so much strife, we need to submit to God and resist the devil. When we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. 
      • When we humble ourselves, God will lift us up. The lowly person becomes the lifted person.
  • Question for reflection: How can I be more humble like Jesus?

Optional Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes you say that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
  • Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
  • What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
  • Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?