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James 4:13-17 (NIV)
Boasting About Tomorrow
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
1. For each day, read the text and write down one or two points that stand out to you.
2. At the end of the week, look and pray over your points, and pick one that stands out to you.
3. What will you do to apply that point/truth to your life? Write that out also.
4. Store your notes and application somewhere where you will find them again and see how you are doing in your application of that truth. Note on your calendar when you’ll check it.
Lord, maybe it has something to do with my age, but I have been consciously aware of a number of people who have had unexpected life-changing circumstances that either drastically redirected or stopped the plans for their future in their tracks. It gives me pause. I am in a season of life where I am actively considering future plans including how long to work, insurance options, financial security, where we want to live and how we want to enjoy our retirement years. I know that focusing on future plans is also a consideration for younger people out of college, people who have life-changing events like divorce or after the loss of a spouse, debilitating sickness or a major transition in a job. Making plans right now is uncomfortable for me because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It brings me an uneasiness and pressure to make decisions that could affect the rest of my life. I spend countless hours worrying about what may or may not happen. What if I save and work for retirement too long and then don’t have the health to enjoy it? What if the economy goes south or the government gets greedy and we don’t have enough financial solidity to enjoy it? What am I going to do with my time after work, am I going to be irrelevant? Lord, I have no control over the future, but You do. Lord help me to enjoy the journey. Help me to look up to You every step of the way trusting that You have a plan for the rest of my life. No matter where we live, what we do or how much money we have to spend, I will be valued as Your cherished child and I can worship You and serve You where I am. I can love who is around me, whether it is those I am serving or those who are serving me. Fear, worry and trepidation are tools of the devil and just steal my joy in You. Lord, allow me to know You deeper, help me to use my time wisely, serve You joyfully, enjoy each of my days and worship You with all my heart until I see You face to face according to Your will. Amen