What are you putting off?
17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James broken into C’s
James 1 is Confidence – What a Christian has (maturity, the word, good influence)
James 2 is Compassion – What a Christian does
James 3 is Careful – What a Christian says
James 4 is Contrite – What a Christian feels
James 5 is Concerned – What a Christian gives
Remember last week we talked about worldliness vs Godliness and the things the world tells you and…….. how God instructs us to avoid that to be more mature, more holy, more like Him. We will finish the chapter this week with a short passage that is big on meaning.
 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.
So what does it mean?…… Am I self centered or God centered?
- Statement on Boasting (wrong thing)
- Sentence on Boasting (wrong thing)
- Solution to Boasting (right thing)
- Spiritual Maturity or Sin avoidance (right thing)
- Statement on Boasting
 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”—
Does it mean to make no plans? Nope … it is wise to plan and count the cost
But they are making plans as if God doesn’t exist….. and that won’t work out well.
 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,  and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’  And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
- Sentence on Boasting
 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.
Again, they are Boasting, bragging…and have no idea what the future will bring it’s as much their attitude as it is their actions.
The world acts this way and some believers act this way. They act like “I’ll deal with tomorrow when it comes”..after all tomorrow is another day, right?
 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.  I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left.  There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”
Mist, vapor, puff of smoke
Life is short
How many days do you have?
 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Average life expectancy today in the US is about 77 years
So let’s have a little mathematical exercise……. Get out a calculator
Knowing that….“Let’s just put that off until tomorrow” doesn’t seem like a good idea always right?
“It’s not too late to do the right thing….seems better.”
Let’s not put off getting our brakes fixed.
Let’s not put off getting our cancer screening.
Let’s not put off getting gas in the car.
Let’s not put off going to the grocery store.
But those things pale in comparison to
Let’s not put off making things right with our spouse
Let’s not put off making things right with our kids
Let’s not put off making things right with an old friend
Let’s not put off making things right with the Lord
Maybe a little practical instruction from a song?
He said “I was in my early 40’s
With a lot of life before me
When a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet times”
I asked him when it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit ya
When you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?
And he said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’ ”
And he said, “Some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’ “
He said, “I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden goin’ fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I, I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again
- Solution to boasting ….(Humility/God centered)
 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.
 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
The solution to boasting is humility…submission to God…following the LORD. Wherever He leads whenever he leads.
- Spiritual Maturity or Sin avoidance (right thing)
 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Sin is doing the wrong thing.
Sin is not doing the right thing.
………Sin is putting off the right thing to do the wrong thing.
Again….not too late to do the right thing.
Spiritual maturity is doing the right thing. (Our solution to boasting, assuming)
- Be what God wants you to be
- Do what God wants you to do
- Speak what God wants you to speak & and hold your tongue
- Sense what God wants you to sense & do it
So……It’s good to have goals, but goals can disappoint if we don’t include God.
Making plans without God will lead to frustration.
Scripture encourages planning, we should plan ahead, but hold on loosely.
We often think sin is just doing the wrong thing…..it’s also not doing the right thing. The Holy Spirit will guide you on this. Your heart won’t. The world won’t. We want to stay in our lane and not cause any interruptions to our routine, but God has plans outside of that where we can be blessed and be a blessing if we are mature, contrite, and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Finally….. back to a mist and a vapor
Any regrets in life? Yeah me too.
Anyone who’s now gone that you would tell them something if you could see them one more time?
If you knew it was your last day….would you
Hug your kids
Hug your wife
Make things right that were wrong?
Make things right with the Lord? (This isn’t just for the unsaved)
What are you putting off? Do the right thing. Jesus is waiting.
Life is short enjoy it, live for God today and tomorrow and the next day. In the end God won’t disappoint.