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Summary: We are not to judge others or make plans without consulting God because if we do we are playing God.

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LET’S PLAY BALL

James 4:11-17

Those of you who have been around for my Tuesday night class know of a little game we like to play. I have this ball, and I’ll think of a topic. For example I’ll say, “Tell me something you do every day.” And I’ll start by saying, “I drink a Dr Pepper.” Then I’ll throw the ball to someone else and they have to tell me something they do every day. And then they throw it to someone else. We have another variation of it in my country, Hot Potato. You pretend this ball is a hot potato which means you don’t want to hold it for a long time because you will burn your hands. Hot Potato is very fast moving. I haven’t pushed it like that in my Tuesday night class; I just say “Let’s play ball.” And we have fun doing it. Except after I came back from my Christmas vacation, the ball was gone. I hope Noboru didn’t take it.

Instead of saying “Let’s play ball,” what if I say, “Let’s play God?” What would you think of me if I said that? You’ll probably send me out of here before March. Why? Because I’m not God. It is very arrogant for me to do that. But you want to know something? I do it all the time. I’m very good at telling God how I think He should do things.

But let’s get down to something more practical. We play God when we judge others and ignore His working and sovereignty in our every day lives. Don’t believe me? James is going to give us some examples of that. OK, remember, all along what is this book about? It’s about being mature. That’s what God wants for you. Is it what you want for you? If it is good, we’ll see some more today. It it isn’t, gomennasai, I’m going to preach it anyway. I told you this would be convicting, didn’t I? But remember, if you want to grow in your faith, if you want to be mature, you’re in just the right place. And save a place, because I’m still learning and growing. Or as I told my girlfriend, I’m still a work in progress.

We’re going to look at 2 areas where we play God; in judging and in denying His sovereignty and working in our lives.

Last week we inaugurated a new President. I watched it on the internet as Barack Obama became our 44th President. It was probably the most watched inauguration in history. Over 1 million people were there in Washington DC for the festivities. Millions more were watching on TV. I watched it on the internet and didn’t get to bed until almost 4AM Wednesday. In watching it there was a lot of optimism and hope. I don’t know how good a President Barack Obama will be. But one thing I do know. He is not God, he is the President of the United States. God is God, not President Obama. And so I pray for him. Let me just share a freebie with you that I shared with a couple of my English classes last week to encourage you to pray for your leaders.

1 Timothy 2:1 ¶ I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--

1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

1 Timothy 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

This is not the time and place for me to tell you what I think of Barack Obama. It is the time and place for me to tell you that I do pray for him. And you should do the same for your leaders.

Since President Obama is in a place of authority and this has to do with the Law it might be good to explain a little about the Law. Sometimes a human example helps. In my country we have 3 branches of government; the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch. The Legislative Branch which is Congress makes the laws. The Executive Branch which is the President, executes or enforces the laws. The Judicial Branch, which is the Supreme Court interprets the law.

You are going to hear a lot about the Law in the next few verses. It is the Law which is given by God. Remember that.

First, when we speak evil of someone, we are judging the law. We are playing God when we do this because He is the one who made the law. We see that in verse 11.

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