Saturday, September 22, 2012
“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14 NIV).
Scripture Reading: James 4:13-17
A number of years ago there was a very popular television program called This Is Your Life. The program portrayed the highlights of some important person’s life. The Bible suggests that we take such a look at our life ahead of time rather than after it is over.
1) The content of the question.
Life has many aspects. It is composed of happiness and tragedy, of feasting and fasting. Even the breath of life is itself a great mystery.
Life is viewed differently by different age groups. To the aged patriarch whose life is well spent, his life has a different hue than to a young child on his mother’s lap. The rich and powerful see life from a different vantage point than do those who have been doomed to poverty and drudgery all their lives.
Life is conflicted with many temptations. Everyone has his own secret temptations and his own peculiar weaknesses that he must fight. He has his own anxieties and fears. He is forever tempted to make nothing more of life than having plenty to eat and a place to sleep.
In spite of life’s many facets, there is one ingredient necessary if life is to have meaning-the spiritual ingredient, God’s will for your life.
2) The context of the question.
The context of the question is a misplaced confidence (James 4:13, 15). We are forever placing too much confidence in our own planning. We think that it is our carefully laid plans that make the world go round. If we are not careful, our plans will become the center of all of our thoughts and efforts. Such a misplaced confidence causes us to make many foolish decisions. It opens to us the danger of so totally planning our own lives that we actually let life pass us by without ever knowing it. We all are related to the rich farmer described in the gospel of Luke who forgot that death could separate him from all the tomorrows and from all of his full barns.
3) The corrective to the question (James 4:15).
There is only one answer to a misplaced confidence: “You ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’ ” (NIV). Instead of placing confidence in ourselves, we need to learn to place our confidence in God, seeking his will as we make our plans.
The secret to life is learning to live it dependently, placing trust in God. This means we turn our future plans over to God and learn the joy of living day by day in his will. Since tomorrow belongs to God, we do well to seek the place in life he wants us to fill tomorrow.
Our lives tomorrow will be the sum of all our yesterdays. The drug addict and the alcoholic are but shadows of what God intended them to be. They did not arrive at that condition instantaneously. They got there as a result of a long line of yesterdays.
Imagine the confusion that would result if the architect of a house had one plan and the contractor had another. The whole procedure would be a line of conflicts. Walls would be built in the wrong places and would have to be torn down. Thus, we see the need of God being the architect who supplies the plans for our lives.
4) The conclusion of the question.
The only way in which all the aspects of life can be fitted together is through a faith commitment to Jesus Christ.
Human beings are made in the image of God, are responsible to God, and are never content until they experience fellowship with God.
Now in Conclusion
Life is what you allow God to make it. If you choose to hold your life apart from God, it not only will be as brief as the morning mist but also as useless. Along with the gift of life comes the message of the gospel wherein Jesus reminds us that if we seek to save our lives we will lose them. Life is meaningful only as we lose our lives in service to him.
God bless you all, Pastor Mike