Do I plan for tomorrow apart from God?
Life is like a vapor! We have no control or guarantees about tomorrow! And yet we live as if we are in control of our lives don’t we? We all make plans, plans for tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, maybe even 10. Now there is nothing wrong with making plans, but James is pointing something out that is wrong in the way we make our plans. Think with me. James just finished telling us that pride is the ugly sin behind conflicts, worldliness, and slander, and that God is opposed to the proud, explaining humility is what is needed to receive God’s amazing grace. Now, he wants us to understand that pride has a problem seeking and submitting to God’s will.
So once again as we come face to face with God’s Truth, we must examine ourselves. How do we make our plans? Do we always seek God’s will for our lives as we plan our future? Oh, we all have been guilty of making plans, even living our lives without seeking or doing the will of God. But, you, and I, need to realize when we sit down with our calendar it may be null and void in 24 hrs. We might not be here, and appointments won’t be kept. All those plans will be null and void too! The Lord wants us to understand that He is in control of our lives and plans, and His ultimate plan is that we bow humbly before Him, and receive His amazing grace, and then live seeking and submitting to His will! Let’s go meet with the Lord, and hear His Word to us!
We finished LOOKING at Chapter 4:11-12, seeing the seriousness of speaking against another.
How did you respond to the Spirit as He spoke to you?
Our journey has us digging in to the next test about ‘seeking God’s will’.
Again with a two-fold objective. We want to:
1. LOOK at the truths in James to answer the LEARN and LIVE questions.
The Big Picture of the Book of James
Do you remember when we first began this journey,
We looked at the Big Picture!
Why Did James Write This Letter?
Check out the Overview in GODcha if you can’t remember.
What was James’ emphasis?
O LORD, we need You to settle our hearts and help us learn today! Help us learn to read Your Word with a purpose so we see Your Word clearly. Please open our eyes to see and understand Your holy Word, so we may be transformed. Thank you Lord!
Before We Begin
CONTEXT is the setting that Rules Interpretation.
What was James 4:1-12 about?
What does it have to do with verses 13-17?
James just finished telling us that pride is behind conflicts, worldliness, and slander, and that God is opposed to the proud, explaining humility is what is needed to receive God’s amazing grace.
Now, he wants us to understand that pride has a problem seeking and submitting to God’s will.
Go to the LEARN/LIVE Section
Open the Deeper Discovery
Scroll to the #15 LEARN Questions.
Ch 4 #15. What do you understand about the next test, as you look at, Come now, you say?
What do you learn about one’s life, the Lord’s will, and what we ought to say, CR? v13-17)
Let’s LOOK at What God Says
Let GODcha guide you in your discovery.
Open the LOOK Section
Where shall we begin?
LOOKING by READING
Read James 4:13-17, asking the 5W’sand H (who, what, where, when, why, and how) questions to see what God says.
The only way to learn this critical skill – is to do it.
How’d you do?
Let’s read together.
13 Come now,
such a city,
For HOW LONG?
spend a year there
engage in business
make a profit.”
do not know
what your life will be like tomorrow.
(What is being contrasted?)
are just a vapor
for HOW long?
for a little while
then vanishes away.
ought to say,
“If the Lord
“If the Lord
also do this
as it is,
WHAT is true about such boasting?
all such boasting
HOW does James conclude?
17 Therefore, (Are you aware this is a Term of Conclusion?)
to one who
knows the right thing to do
does not do it,
WHAT is true?
to him it is sin.
(Do you see the the contrast?)
We slowed down,and
We could clearly see ‘WHAT GOD IS SAYING‘?
Now THINK With Me. . .
About What We Just Read, and Let It Sink In!
What Did We LEARN
What illustration does James present?
This is set up around a businessperson.
What is the point James is trying to make?
Verse 13, What does this individual say? Where is their focus? What is the emphasis?
This person is deciding:
when – today or tomorrow;
where – such and such a city;
for how long– a year, setting their own time table;
what – engage in business and make a profit.
And where is the emphasis?
Isn’t it on what they do and have?
THINK: Is this why our closets are fuller than they need be? Why our houses are bigger than they need be? Why we have more stuff and toys than we need? Why we eat more than we should? Why we spend more than we should?
What is the problem? Why is this kind of planning wrong?
Did you notice?
God is never mentioned in their plans!
James is NOT saying it is wrong to make plans, thinking ahead, making money, having life insurance, retirement, savings, that is all good and wise.
NO, he is saying you are living as if you are in charge!
You are making plans, living your lives, making goals in this world in a self – sufficiency with no thought to God!
How do I make my plans? Do I seek the Lord for His will?
Or, do I plan, relying on the plan itself?
Or, do I plan with too much confidence in my own abilities to work the plan?
Respond to God. . .LIVE it out!
Verse 14, What is the problem with this kind of focus?
No one knows what their life will be like tomorrow or in the future.
Our life is like a vapor and then it vanishes away.
Verse 15, What should they say?
“If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
THINK: They should be making their plans in light of the Lord.
Verse 16, But, what are they guilty of?
They take pride in living as if they are at the center.
They are Ignoring God boasting in their arrogance, which is evil.
How does James conclude?
They know what is right, but don’t do it! Just won’t do it! And that is a sin.
Do I presume on God’s grace, knowing what is right, but I don’t do it, and think I will repent later?
Do I live in disobedience to God and His will?
Respond to God. . . LIVE it out!
That’s It For Today!
Ponder everything you have LEARNED today!
Chew on these truths, absorb them into the depths of your heart.
Have sincere chat with God! He’s waiting!
NOTE and SAVE What God Has Taught You!
Journal your conversations with God!
Turn What You LEARNED into a Prayer
Perhaps. . .
OH FATHER GOD, we seek to bless You with our praise today! We are so thankful for Your Word. That razor sharp two-edged sword that is able to discern our thoughts and intentions, that frees us, that cleanses and sanctifies us. May this Word that we just read slowly and with purpose make head way from our heads to our hearts. May we truly soak in what You are saying to us, that we are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away! Oh Father, may we truly consider how we have stumbled pushing You out of our plans, living as if we are in control! May Your holy Word renew our minds and transform us from the inside out! We ask this in Jesus name. Amen!
Next: we will LOOK a bit closer at seeking God’s will.
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