6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: James 4 warns us against having the attitude of those who presume to know what the future holds.

Title: Living a life of FAITH not presumption

The Associated Press ran the story of Andre-Francois Raffray. Thirty years ago, at the age of 47, he worked out a real estate deal with Jeanne Calment, age 90. He would pay her $500 each month until her death, in order to secure ownership of her appartment in Arles, France. This is a common practice in France, benefiting both buyers and seniors on a fixed income.

Unfortunately for Raffray, Jeanne Calment has become the world’s oldest living person. Still alive at 120, she outlived Raffray, who died in December 1995, at the age of 77. He paid $184,000 for an apartment he never lived in. According to the contract, Raffray’s survivors must continue payment until Mrs. Calment dies.

Mr. Raffray thought he was looking into the future and making a shrewd investment. But the fact his he could not imagine what the future had in store for him.

On the same token neither can you know what the future has in store for your life.

Granted there are those things that are certain -- that never change


The certainty of death

The judgment

And of course -- tax time

But from day to day we have no idea what is going to happen

Thankfully Jesus sets us free not to worry about the future holds

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

He assures us that he will be with us always even to the end of the age to help us through each day by his amazing grace.

Interestingly’ the scripture tells us that there existed a problem in the early church that still exists today

I have dubbed that problem "living life with an attitude of presumption"

James 4 warns us against having the attitude of those who presume to know what the future holds.

Read James 4:13-17 with me

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 and then 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.

An attitude of presumption is illustrated by an example here in James. Not that this example alone is necessarily the action he is condemning,

but it is the spirit of this kind of thinking or attitude in the believer James attempts to reprove.

It was common in Middle Eastern culture and among the Jews for a man to attempt to make his fortune by being a merchant.

¤ He would save up a large amount of money

¤ Purchase some good in the place he lived that he felt he could sell at a profit in a far off place.

¤ Take a long journey to that far off city and spend a year selling those goods making a large profit.

¤ Then upon his return he would purchase some fine good that he could sell in his home city.

¤ Then once returned, having sold all his goods, he would be wealthy an able to retire or buy and sell again.

At least that was his thinking.

Unfortunately, the more common occurrence

That could not be foreseen

Was that the merchant purchased a bunch of goods from his own city and ended up stuck with them spending the rest of his life trying to sell them in a little shop in his hometown.

Because we do not know what the future holds.

An attitude of presumption is

1. Evil in its boasting

2. And sin in its doing

 We cannot afford to live with an attitude of presumption about tomorrow.

 We cannot afford to make large plans expecting them to be fulfilled

 We cannot be like the farmer of Luke 12 who SAYS TO HIMSELF

Luke 12:19-20

"You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ’

[20] "But God said to him, ’You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

You don’t know what the future holds

Yet each of is facing the future

So how are we going to deal with it?

When I worked at Evangel College in Springfield MO. I worked with a man and every night I would say goodnight Rich , see you tomorrow, and every time he would respond

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