The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Too Short To Plan Without God

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow I will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist (vapor) that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (Jas.4:13-15).

James does a bit of zigzagging back to 2:1-7, in which he taught about showing favoritism toward the rich. The rich were oppressing the poor, but that was not their only offense. There was an arrogance about them, acting as if what they accumulated was all that mattered. James, in today's verses, does not only speak to the rich, but to us also. He demanded that those who lean too much on what they possess ought to reflect on the brevity of life. This reflection would lead to humility, and humility would lead to God. (see 4:6-12)... Verse 13 starts off with the term, "Now listen," (NIV) while the NAS says, "Come now..." Its as if he is saying these things are important, so "give it some thought." I think that James' meaning in these verses is crystal clear; life is short and uncertain, and those who pin their hopes on the uncertainty of physical stuff are missing the point... The Psalmist says this about those who place too much value in things; "Like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish ---- vanish like smoke" (Psa.37:20). I certainly don't believe that one must be morbid and preoccupied with death to in order to realize that the shortness of life causes the wise to make their plans contingent on the blessings of God.... With no reference to God, to even the secular person, "a vapor or mist that appears for a little while and then fades away," or a mist or cloud that promises rain and dissolves into nothingness should be meaningful.... Our lives are indeed short, and we should make the most of the time we have into service to the Lord.... "Who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins...."

Have a great day.... Do good and give God the credit.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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