Summary: A message for our graduates.

Dakota Community Church

June 22, 2008

Facing the Future

It is Graduate Sunday here at Dakota Community Church and we are looking forward with these fresh faced young adults to the exciting times that lie ahead.

People love to wonder about the future; don’t they? I mean we dream about it, we tell stories about it; we fantasize about how it will be different, after all:

One day our generation is gonna rule the population

So we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change – John Mayer

Most of all when it comes to the future, we try to predict it.

Many of us even in this modern age will read our horoscopes every day, some try to read tea leaves or get their palms read; you may have even called one of the many psychic hot lines or visited a tarot card reader because we long to know what the future holds for us.

The future represents the great unknown and while it is sometimes a little scary, most of us envision our futures in a positive light.

The Church loves to focus on the future as well, after all we wouldn’t want to get left behind, am I right? My favorite Christian best seller was “Eighty-eight Reasons the Rapture Could Happen in 1988”. January 1, 1989 must have awkward around that house eh?

This morning I want to talk about mistakes we typically make when it comes to facing the future.

James 4:13-17

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." 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. 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.

1. Planning without God.

You who say, “Today or tomorrow we will…” You ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will…”

There is nothing wrong with making plans, in fact it is really foolish not to make plans for the future, the problem for many of us is that we make our plans independent of God.

Luke 14:28-32

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ’This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

In this passage Jesus is talking about making the choice to follow Him and saying that even that choice should not be made without first considering what it means to be His disciple.

Proverbs 16:1

To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.

Proverbs 16:9

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Do you say you believe in God but plan your life as though he did not exist?

As you answer that often asked question; “So, what are you going to do next year?” Have sought the Lord at all on the issue?

Have you made your plans and asked God to bless them or are you seeking His plan.

There is a huge difference between the two!

Seek God for your direction.

Psalms 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

2. Making arrogant presumptions.

The next thing we tend to do wrong when it comes to facing the future is allowing our foolish pride to presuppose on everything.

We just assume that all is going to go well, that there will be no real problems and if we even take a moment to consider potential problems we assume that we will overcome them without too much pain.

James 4:14 &16

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.

As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

James 4:6

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

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