a Test Series – James 4:13-17
Intro: Every one of us has an opinion or a viewpoint on what a true Christian is, or what they should be doing. I would even go to the extent to say most of us here might think we’re doing a decent job on being that Christian. Correct? James in the content of the text in discussion today reiterates the character of a genuine believer. This should be, to do the will of God. We have learned the importance of loving God, repenting of our sins, displaying humility, devotion to God’s glory, prayer, love for others, separation from the world, growth, and obedience; but nothing is more important than doing God’s will! The simple truth of the test that is present for today is; to grasp the reality of doing God’s will, and understanding it is for your own well-being!”
"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 Text: James 4:13-17
“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." 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
The greatest example of one who did the will of God was the Lord Jesus Christ. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 He goes on to say: “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” John 5:30
The Lord Jesus Christ perfectly modeled the most essential element of a relationship to God that of obedience to His will. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” The words of the familiar hymn “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” reflects 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
Application: "Mold me and make me After Thy will!"
1. The Foolishness of Ignoring God’s Will: Vs. 13-14
“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.
Planning without God is foolishness! Man just does not acknowledge much if any need for God. A thousand things can happen to our plans. Utter disruption of our future is no farther away than a split second in an automobile accident or within a doctor's routine examination. The future of every person on earth is at most a small boat on the stormy and uncertain sea of life. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
Self-sufficiency is the issue here; self-sufficiency is failure to recognize the uncertainty of life. You can go to all the palm readers and physics, read your horoscope daily, trust in a fortune cookie you just read before you ate it and you cannot be certain of what tomorrow brings! We do not know what will happen one hour from now, we forget and ignore our nature—who we are, how limited we really are, how uncertain life with all its happenings and events really is. Our lives at most are only as a vapor that appears for a brief time and then vanishes away. Once we are born into this world, the only thing we can know for sure is that we will die; sooner or later we will die. Living a self-sufficient life apart from God is the depth of foolishness. Planning the future without planning for one's eternal future is the depth of foolishness.
When James says “Come now!” what he is really saying is: “Listen up!” 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.” Life is as fleeting 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 brevity and frailty of earthly life, to plan and live it without consideration for God’s will. THE FOOLISHNESS OF IGNORING GOD’S WILL! “Do the Will of GOD!”
2. The Arrogance of Denying God’s Will: Vs. 16
“But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
Self-sufficiency is boasting, bragging, and arrogance. A person who boasts about something they think they have, but does not really have it. They live in an unreal world. Any person who goes through life without God is just like this. They live and plan, thinking that they control their life and the future. Their life is one big boast of self-sufficiency, and it is wrong, totally wrong. A thousand things can happen to change their plans—to injure them or to radically change their life and work, or to snatch their life right out of this world. We have an urge, a tendency to boast and to be seen and recognized as better as and more successful than others. James reminds us this is evil! Even Christians are often guilty of setting aside God’s will in favor of their own plans.
Arrogance comes from a root word meaning “to wander about” Have you ever walked out into the parking lot where you parked your car only to forget where you parked it? I think there are those who treat God’s will like they would treat their misplaced car. Those who arrogantly deny God’s will emulate Satan’s sin, and may suffer his doom. “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. Jesus has prayed for you.” John 17:15 “Do the Will of GOD!”
3. The Sin of Disobeying God’s Will: Vs. 17
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
When we know to do good and refuse to do it, it is sin. A person is to trust and acknowledge God, pray and ask God for His presence, guidance, help, care, and strength...
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
The Bible says that God’s will is that people be saved, spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive and be willing to suffer. Follow these five aspects of God’s will and Psalm 37:4 shall come to pass: “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” The wayward prophet Jonah provides a classic illustration of one who knew the will of God, but refused to do it. Called by God to preach to Nineveh, the reluctant prophet instead attempted to flee to Tarshish, about as directly in the opposite direction as possible. Only after being severely disciplined by God did Jonah finally submit to His will. Those who disobey God’s will likewise suffer the consequences... “Do the Will of GOD!”
4. The Blessing of Acknowledging God’s Will: Vs. 15
“Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
Verse 15 leaves us with a positive thought if we do God’s will! Let’s review this premise, if we acknowledge and obey His will, we can be blessed, right? The Bible states this generally marks true believers. To submit to God’s will which really is a win, win outcome also means there are several habit forming and continue responses a true believer lives by. Simply put, the will of God is central to all you do. For the Christian, doing God’s will is an act of worship: Romans 12:2
The Lord Jesus Christ pronounced the reward given those who do God’s will: “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” Responding to God’s will is yet another test of a living and true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A strong desire to do the will of God is a sure mark of a transformed life. Most people go about living life like they want; they seldom consider God. But this is not the way life is to be lived. A person is to acknowledge God and confess his dependency upon God. He loves us and wants to look after and care for us. But we must trust and depend upon Him, fellowship and commune with Him day by day and moment by moment or else He cannot help us. Just think! We can have the love and presence, provision and protection of God. Our lives can be in the perfect will of God. We can live and walk upon earth praying and proclaiming to the world: "If He wills, I shall live—my life and its future and destiny is in the hands and provision and protection of God, totally and completely in His keeping."
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
“Do the Will of GOD!”
In : Sermon
Tags: "life is a test series" "book of james"
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