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100328 How To Live Your Faith 15 Plan Ahead   James 4 13 17
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100328 How To Live Your Faith 15 Plan Ahead James 4 13 17

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Sermon 15 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 4:13-17) presented March 28, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

Sermon 15 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 4:13-17) presented March 28, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

Published in: Spiritual

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  • 1.
  • 2. James 4 begins with war with God & ends with the will of God
    One out of God’s will becomes troublemaker
    One in the will of God becomes peacemaker
    Lot moved to Sodom & brought trouble to family
    David sinned & brought trouble to family & nation
    Jonah sinned & almost sent ship to watery grave
    Each had a wrong attitude toward God’s will
    Three attitudes toward God’s will:
  • 3. 1. Ignoring God’s Will
    James 4:13-14 NIV Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." (14) Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
    James 4:16 NIV As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6. James addresses Christian businessmen
    They discussed & boasted about plans
    No evidence they sought God’s will
    No evidence they prayed about their plans
    Measured success by how many times they accomplished what they planned
    James gives four arguments that reveal the foolishness of ignoring God’s will
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. Argument #1: The complexity of life
    James 4:13 NIV Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."
  • 11. Think of all that is involved in life
    Today, tomorrow, buying, selling, making money, losing money, going here & there
    Life is made up of
    People & places
    Activities & goals
    Days & years
    We each make crucial decisions every day
  • 12. Apart from God’s will, life is a mystery
    If we put His will first, life makes sense
    It brings simplicity & unity to our lives
    It gives us poise & confidence
    World no longer mysterious & threatening
    We can sing, “This is my Father’s world!”
  • 13. Argument #2: The uncertainty of life
    James 4:14 NIV Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. …
  • 14. James alludes to Proverbs 27:1
    Proverbs 27:1 NIV Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
    Businessmen making plans for a year
    They couldn’t even see ahead one day!
  • 15. Like the farmer in Luke 12:16-21
    Bumper crop too big for barns – build bigger
    Luke 12:19-20 NIV And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?‘
    Life not uncertain to God, but is to us
    When in His will we can be confident of future
  • 16. Argument #3: The brevity of life
    James 4:14 NIV … What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
  • 17. A repeated theme of Scripture
    Life seems long & we measure it in years
    In comparison to eternity, it is but a vapor
    James borrows from Job’s word pictures
    Job 7:6 NIV My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
    Job 14:1-2 NIV Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. (2) He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.
  • 18. We count our years but God tells us to number our days
    Psalms 90:12 NIV Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
    We live a day at a time & days pass quickly
    Invest in eternity
    Joshua 1:8 NIV Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
  • 19. Argument #4: The frailty of man
    James 4:16 NIV As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22. Man’s boasting only covers up man’s weakness
    Proverbs 16:33 NIV The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
    We cannot control future events
    We have neither the wisdom to see the future nor the power to control it
    But God has both!
    Five word sermon in Carlsbad Caverns:
    “Stay close to your guide”
  • 23. 2. Disobeying God’s Will
    James 4:17 NIV Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
  • 24.
  • 25. These people know the will of God but choose to disobey it
    This attitude expresses more pride than does the first: “I know what You want me to do, but I refuse to do it!”
    2 Peter 2:21 NIV It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
  • 26. Luke 12:47-48 NIV
    "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. (48) But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
  • 27. 3. Obeying God’s Will
    James 4:15 NIV Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
  • 28.
  • 29.
  • 30. “If the Lord wills” is not just a statement; it is a constant attitude
    Romans 1:10 NIV … I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
    1 Corinthians 4:19 NIV But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing …
    1 Corinthians 16:7 NIV I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.
  • 31. Everything in this universe operates according to laws
    If we obey the laws, universe works with us
    If we disobey, universe works against us
    Example: certain laws govern flight
    Engineer obeys those laws in designing the plane
    Manufacturer obeys them in building the plane
    Pilot obeys them in flying the plane
    If they disobey the laws governing flight, the result will be a crash & loss of life & money
    God’s will is not unlike those basic laws
  • 32. 1. We must know God’s will
    Acts 22:14 NIV "Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.
  • 33. It’s not hard to know God’s will
    If we’re willing to obey, He’s willing to reveal
    John 7:17 NIV If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
    God does not reveal His will to the curious
    He reveals it to those ready to obey
  • 34. 2. We must understand God’s will
    Colossians 1:9 NIV … since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  • 35. God wants us to understand His will
    Child can know what parents want, but not why
    Jesus wants us to know the “why” behind “what”
    John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
    Israel knew “what”, but Moses understood “why”
    Psalms 103:7 NIV He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
  • 36. 3. We must test & approve God’s will
    Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
  • 37. Dokimazomeans “to test with a positive outcome”
    We learn God’s will by working at it
    Like learning to swim or play an instrument
    You practice until you “get the feel” of it & it becomes second nature to you
    You start by doing what you know to do
    Then God opens the way for the next step
    You test & approve His will by experience
  • 38. 4. We must do God’s will from the heart
    Ephesians 6:6 NIV Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
  • 39. Jonah knew God’s will and (after a spanking) did it
    But he did not do it from his heart
    Jonah 4 shows an angry prophet who did not love God, nor the people of Nineveh
    He merely did God’s will to keep from getting another spanking!
    Secret of a happy life is to delight in duty
    Psalms 119:54 NIV Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.
  • 40. Which of these three attitudes do you have toward the will of God?
    Do you totally ignore God’s will as you make your daily plans and decisions?
    Or, do you know God’s will and yet refuse to obey it?
    Each attitude is wrong and can only bring sorrow and ruin to the life of the person who holds it
  • 41. Those who know, love & obey God’s will enjoy God’s blessing
    Our lives may not be easier, but they will be holier & happier
    Our very food will be the will of God
    John 4:34 NIV "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
    It will be the joy and delight of our hearts
    Psalms 40:8 NIV I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."