Beyond the Weekend

February 23 | Engaging

February 23, 2024


Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7-8

Read: James 4:6-10
Listen: James 4


In today’s passage, James writes about habits we can do to engage with the grace of God. This is not a magic formula that guarantees success. But these activities invite God’s grace to work in our hearts and transform us to be more like Jesus. The first is to submit our lives to God’s leadership. To accept his authority and subject our desires to him.

The second is to resist. The word used here is a military term. In this context, resistance is like holding the line in a battle. We recognize that we have a sin nature and that some of our desires will need to be faced and prayerfully fought.

The third is to pursue. When we pursue God in humility, he will move toward us and meet us with grace. We come near to him through prayer, reading his word and interacting with his people. Come near to God, and he will come near to you.

Finally, the last is to repent. The word repent is not used directly in this verse, but James seems to be referring to the process of repentance. Repentance is turning from our sinful desires and toward God in humility. It’s to stop going one way and to go another.

TODAY: Consider these four habits: submit, resist, pursue and repent. Write them down on a note, a 3×5 card, your lock screen or somewhere else you’ll see over and over. When you see them, ask God to reveal which one you need to do at that moment and to give you the strength to do it. Pick one right now that you want to improve on today.


Read Genesis 35-37. Highlight anything that points to Jesus. Note the brothers’ betrayal and rejection of Joseph and how this points to Jesus.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here. 

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