Summary: Even though we all know that we are born to die, we often loose track of the important things in life.
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.” 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 the 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 and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17) Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
There was a man who had a loving wife and three sons. He had worked hard all his life and earned a decent living. Many times he had been passed up for promotions at work because he did not want to sacrifice time with his family for the sake of his career. At his funeral, his children were all present and spoke highly of him. His wife had nothing but good things to say about him. Yes, she admitted that sometimes things were tough. Occasionally, they had to pinch pennies and they even had to put off Peter to pay Paul. But she said that his legacy was in his family’s devotion to each other. The epitaph on his head stone read, “Here lies a loving and wonderful father and husband who will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.”
As I read that illustration, I thought about the epitaphs that would be on other people’s headstones. I came to the conclusion that I do not think I will ever find a headstone that read something like, “I wish I spent more time at work.” or “I wish a had spent more time away from my family.” The point is, Even though we all know that we are born to die, we often loose track of the important things in life.
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day it may bring forth.
We prioritize things and let life dictate most of our actions. It is good to have goals in life but we can not loose sight of the fact that God is in control of every part of our lives. James describes what most of us have been like in life.
James 4:13 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.”
Our first priority has often been money if we are truly honest with ourselves. Most of us have planned or do plan for retirement. We scrimp and save and put away for the future. Or we plan for a vacation and take money that would otherwise be put in the offering plate or used for support of our families and hide it away. What did Jesus teach us about money?
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
When money becomes our first priority, then we are replacing God as the center point in our lives. When we do that, then what we seek after, becomes the God in our lives. Do we truly serve God if we seek money first?
We do not know if we are going to wake up tomorrow. For that matter, we do not even know if we are going to be here till the end of service today. God has numbered the very seconds we will live and his clock is winding down. Pretty soon, time will be up and he will have his final judgment. Are we really ready for the return of Jesus Christ? Have we sought after him the way we have sought to make our lives and the lives of our families more comfortable?