Summary: Boasting About Tomorrow (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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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!

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