James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Life on this earth is very fragile. No one can be assured of finishing out the day that is started. Many things can happen in a day. Sickness can come. Some mishap can come. We can plan. It is good to plan, but we need to keep in mind that our plans may not work out.
James is speaking here about earthly things. Some people get quite excited about earthly things. They make plans and then if things do not work out, they get quite upset about it. We need to understand that this life is not very stable.
James tells us our life is like a vapour. I know that this year has gone by very fast. This is the last month of the year! Where did the time go. I have been working on a vehicle that we hope to be driving soon. I have been working on it now for about two years. When I bought it, I thought it would be done in a short time. However, my health deteriorated some and I lacked the energy to do much for a time. Then there are also others things that take priority for me. I would rather take the time to witness to someone and try to help another person know God’s peace than to spend too much time on a vehicle. This week we have the vehicle just about ready to get safetied. It is scheduled for safety this coming Tuesday. I do not have much to do now and hopefully it will be ready by then.
My grandson likes to tease me about my timeline for this vehicle. I hope I am able to show him that material things have their place, but they are certainly not priority. There was a time when I would purchase a vehicle and put long hours in on it to get it ready within a few weeks. Those days are gone. I am ok with that as well.
In verse 15 we are reminded we should always consider God’s will in our decisions. What does He have in store for us? I know that there will be no vehicles in heaven. I do not even know if there will be vehicles in the Millennium. Life will be very different for those living on this earth at that time. Those who are saved now will be involved in some capacity during the millennium. We will be assisting the Lord Jesus Christ in whatever He would want of us. Living for the Lord is good. It is very rewarding. Thus when it comes to planning, we need to plan loosely and wisely. We need to leave room for God to adjust our plans. One day we will take our last breath here and then for those who are saved, heaven will be our home. For those who are lost, hell will be their place of torment. It is important to choose wisely.
In verse 16, James continued to write about those who ignore God’s leading. Keep in mind, this chapter started with the lusts of the flesh and the trouble that brings. It also talked about the foolishness of having this world as our friend. Those who plan without giving God His rightful place have the world as their friend. They discover this is not a worthy goal. Yet many stubbornly stay in that place.
There are Christians who have too much focus on this world. They like to advance themselves in this world, but they do not give proper consideration to their souls. Lot was one who chose to move to a place of greener pastures. He moved toward Sodom. He pitched his tent toward Sodom. Then he moved right in to Sodom. His children were heavily influenced by the wicked ideas of the people of Sodom. Lot knew better, but he ignored what he knew to be right. Peter was directed to write that Lot vexed his righteous soul daily because of the wickedness he tolerated. When God told him to get out with his family, he lingered. He could not get his sons-in-law to leave. After being pulled out by the angel of the Lord, his wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. His own daughters committed incest with him just to preserve his name. What a name!? Lot’s choice was very costly.
As James wrote, his rejoicing was evil. He had cattle. He was gaining prominence in Sodom. What a price he paid for those things which he could not take with him. His name lives on, but not in a good light. What will your legacy be?
Verse 17 is a very sobering verse. As we noted, Lot knew better than what he did. James wrote that the person who knows to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. There are many things that children do not know. There are many things children do not need to know. They need to depend on their parents for direction. Too many parents give evil direction to their children. A child soon knows when they are lying. They soon demonstrate that they know that.
Adults also know many things that are right and good. Yet many make foolish choices because of earthly attachments.
Today is the Lord’s Day. Where will you be today? There are many who receive these devotionals that know that Sunday is the day to go to church. Some will be faithful in attending a good church. Some will choose a social club that calls itself a church. Some will choose to either stay home or go to the mall or some other attraction.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to doing God’s will. The true local church is the most important place to be today. There is a man we know that can find many excuses for not attending church faithfully. He is able to do other things during the week. The excuses he uses for Sunday, never seem to apply to what he wants to do during the week. However, on Sunday they apply for him.
He is an adult. He will answer for his choices. Each person will answer for their choices. God is not a mean God. He knows that His Word is true. He knows that we need to hear from Him today. He has chosen some godly men to be pastors and He wants to bless you with His Word today as you submit to the local church He wants to direct you to. Church hopping is not His design. His will is for born again Christians to be members of a true local church and then be faithful there.
You may say you can sit at home and have your own Bible Study. You certainly can do that. However, God has directed His servant to prepare a message that is what you need to hear. That servant may not know what you need, but God certainly does. If you choose to ignore what God wants to bless you with, you are robbing yourself of His blessing. Some of those reading this need to be saved. You know that, but you are putting it off. You think you have time yet. You claim you have some “questions” that you need answered. However, you don’t get around to asking those questions because you know that is not the real issue. Why not listen to God today and get ready to attend a true local church today. Get saved and begin to enjoy His blessings today and every day.
Some will say there is no good church in your area. I believe that. Sadly, there are many areas that do not have a good local church. You drive to go do other things. Get ready and drive to where there is a good local church. If you need to, move to where there is a good local church. A true local church is worth more than all the money you can make by staying away from a true local church. Let God lead you and get to know His blessings. We are praying that you will make the right choice today.