Text: James 4:13-15 (NKJV)
13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1
Intro: “Desire to do the will of God!”
The Scriptures give many marks of a true Christian, such as love for God, repentance from sin, humility, devotion to God’s glory, prayer, love for others, separation from the world, growth, and obedience. But nothing more clearly summarizes the character of a genuine believer than a desire to do the will of God.
Illustration: Life and Peace
My points today come from a statement that Woodrow Wilson once made about Life and Peace:
"A man has found himself when he has found his relation to the rest of the universe, and here is the book (the Bible) in which those relations are set forth. And so when you see a man going along the highways of life with his gaze lifted above the road, lifted to the sloping ways in front of him, then be careful of that man and get out of his way. He knows the kingdom for which he is bound. He has seen the revelation of himself and of relations to mankind. He has seen the revelation of his relation to God his Maker, and therefore he has seen his responsibility to the world. This is the revelation of life and of peace." - Woodrow Wilson
Application: A person finds themselves when they do the will of God!
A person finds themself when:
1. We Know the KINGdom:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." Matthew 7:21
The Kingdom is Heaven: I learned a long time ago through a Sunday School Evangelism process that Heaven can be experienced here and here after. This is FAITH! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
When a person finds themselves, which only comes through an identification with Jesus Christ the rest of their time is focused toward the preparation of the Kingdom and to do His will! “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:2
You know yourself when you’re apart of God’s Kingdom.
A person finds themself when:
2. We have SEEn the Revelation:
"And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:17
The greatest example of one who did the will of God was the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 6:38 He defined His messianic mission when He said, “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me”. To His shortsighted disciples, focused as they were on earthly things, Jesus explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work”. In agony in Gethsemane, facing the awful reality of the cross, the Lord nonetheless prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will”. The Lord Jesus Christ perfectly modeled the most essential element of a relationship to God - obedience to His will.
When we have seen His revelation; (the revealing of God through nature and us) we find ourselves! On the other hand, a constant disregard for or disinterest in God’s will is a certain mark of the presence of pride - the ugly sin also underlying conflict, worldliness, and slander. Those who refuse to submit to God’s will give evidence that their lives have not been transformed by His saving grace: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Titus 2:11-12
"You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life?" The revelation of God once experienced will help you find yourself! Life is living for God through His will. Have you found yourself? Have you seen the revelation???
A person finds themself when:
3. We have Seen OUR Responsibility:
“Listen up!” the negative response to God’s will is foolishly ignoring it, living as if God did not exist. The ones who are saying “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” These are the people that disregard God’s existence and following His will.
"If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." What does that mean? For James doing the will of God identifies another test of genuine saving faith. True Christians are characterized by “doing the will of God from the heart” “Not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6
That leads us to the next obvious statement; are you doing the will of God from the heart? If you know of the Kingdom that God has established and what we are to do to be a part of this Kingdom, then you will! In the Lord’s model prayer the word tells us they joyfully, willingly pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done”. Another way of expressing the same attitude Comes from a very familiar hymn: “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” which should reflect the desire of every true Christian:
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me After Thy will, While I am waiting, Yielded and still. - Adelaide A. Pollard
To understand our responsibility we cannot afford to leave God out, this is foolish, “you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow”. Life is far from simple; some people foolishly imagine that they are in charge of their lives. Sadly, such people ignore not only the existence of God’s will, but also its benefit. Christians have the comfort of knowing that the sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent God of the universe controls every event and circumstance of their lives and weaves them all into His perfect plan for them: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
“You are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away.” Life is as brief as a puff of smoke from a fire; the steam that rises from a cup of coffee; or one’s breath, briefly visible on a cold day. How foolish, in light of the shortness and frailty of earthly life, to plan and live it without consideration for God’s will.
The Bible repeatedly stresses the shortness of human life: “Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone - as though we had never been here.”
For so many their ignorance of the future and the frailty and shortness of human life should give pause to those who foolishly ignore God’s will.
The revelation of life and peace comes when a person finds themself, knows of the Kingdom of God because the Word of God is their instructions and they understand their responsibility! Are you living through the will of God? Is your time well spent?
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1
Serving God: For years Leo Tolstoy searched for an answer to the question, “What’s the purpose of life?” He addressed it to many of his contemporaries. No one gave him a satisfactory answer. Then one day he met a peasant friend, who upon listening to the well-worn query, immediately replied, “To serve God.” Whereupon the Russian literary genius declared it to be the highest wisdom he had ever encountered.
The decision you make today might have a lot of bearing on where you are in the future, because were not certain of tomorrow. Have you found yourself today?
Can you afford to ignore God’s will, can you gamble you eternal destiny. Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs? To you who is Jesus? Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell? If you died right now, where would you go? If heaven why? If what you believe were not true, would you want to know it?
In : Sermon
Tags: "will of god"
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