Summary: Boasting About Tomorrow (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: James chapter 4 verses 13-17.
• IN a 24 hour period, if you’re an adult of average weight,
• Here is what you accomplish:
• Your heart beats 103,689 times
• Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles
• You breathe 23,040 times
• You inhale 438 cubic feet of air.
• You eat 3.25 pounds of food
• You drink 2.9 quarts of liquids
• You lose 7/8 pound of waste.
• You speak 4,800 words, including some unnecessary ones
• You move 750 muscles
• Your nails grow .000046 inch
• Your hair grows .01714 inch
• You exercise 7,000,000 (million) brain cells.
• No wonder you feel tired!
Some nuggets of wisdom that someone thought up regarding the ‘day’:
• “A day is a span of time no one is wealthy enough to waste.”
• “The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”
• “The day will happen whether or not you get up.”
• “It’s the little things in life that really count. “
• “He who provides for this life, but takes not care for eternity;
• Is wise for a moment but a fool for eternity.”
• “Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change.
• But pretty soon, everything's different.”
In this short paragraph James gives us some advice regarding living each day:
(1). The Folly of Counting on The Future (Vs. 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.”"
• Like the old, old joke of the doctor;
• Who called one of his patients into his office to deliver some very important news.
• "I have received the results of your tests;
• And I have some bad news and some good news", said the doctor.
• "Let me have the good news first, doc", said the patient.
• The doctor took a deep breath and said, "You only have 24 hours to live."
• "What!", shouted the patient,
• "If that’s the good news what could the bad news possibly be?"
• The doctor replied, "I was supposed to tell you yesterday."
This phrase James uses in verse 13, “Now listen”;
• Only occurs here in the whole of the Bible.
• So in all 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,102 verses – this is it’s one & only inclusion!
• It’s a very pointed phrase that indicates the seriousness of what follows.
• James is saying, “Come now, pay attention!”
• “Stop strutting around like you have all the time in the world!”
• “I’ve got news for you, actually you don’t! No-one knows how much time they will have!”
Note: In the context for these verses;
• James is primarily talking to wealthy merchants.
• These merchants who travelled all over the ancient world,
• Buying and selling in the major trade centres of that day.
• Because of the extensive shipping involved,
• It could easily take a year or more to set up a business.
• Their big mistake was not that they engaged in business,
• We all need to do that to survive (to pay the bills and enjoy a lifestyle etc)
• Their big mistake is ‘Presumption’, they were counting on the future,
• Without any recognition of the God who controls the future.
• They were like someone who goes house hunting, they buy a new bungalow;
• Buys themselves a new car, plan a six month cruise,
• We might say that they hall their retirement all planned out;
• Only to find they have no savings and no pension plan in operation;
• They may have made great plans but there is no foundation to those plans!
• Their scheming and planning are all in vain!
• What James says about these business men – their plan on paper was very impressive!
• They had everything figured out or almost everything:
• When: “today or tomorrow”
• Where: “this or that city”
• How: “spend a year”
• What: “do business”
• Why: “to make money”
But notice that in all their planning, they left out the most important - the Who.
• God was nowhere in their plans.
• Like the rich farmer in the parable that Jesus told,
• Who wanted to tear down his barns so he could build bigger ones,
• These businessmen were not bringing God into the details of their life.
Key Point that James is making:
• Planning is important,
• But planning without involving God is presumption.
• The Bible makes it very clear that our whole existence is a gift from God.
• From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are blessed with the gift of life!