James 4:13-17 (Devotional Thought)


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Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:13-17 ESV)

I had the benefit of getting my master’s degree a few years ago. I was in my early thirties and as old as some of the younger professors at the school, so for a joke one time I walked into a class on the first day and began to act just like I was the professor. I said things like, “Ok everyone get out your text books for the course.” The charade lasted only a few minutes before the real professor came in and the joke was up. Everyone soon recognized that I was a student just like them.

Sometimes we like to pretend that we know more than we do. I was pretending to be a teacher, but I was really there to learn. Sometimes we pretend to be like God and make plans as if we know everything that will happen. The truth is we don’t. We don’t even know what the next moment will truly hold. Only God does. James writes and reminds us to submit everything to God, even how we speak needs to be seasoned with an honest submission to God’s authority. We can say, “This is my plan and I think it’s good, but only God truly knows what will happen.” By approaching our life and plans like this we are recognizing the Lordship of God in everything we do.

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