Summary: James wants believers to forsake living like practical atheists. They profess that they know God but their hearts are cold and far away from God. THE PROBLEM: A Shift / Transition has occurred within Christian Culture. America Needs revival!
August 11, 2013
“LIVING BEYOND VAPOR”
James 4:13 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” 14 You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. 15 Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
James 4:16 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. 17 In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.
James undeniably wants to get the attention of his audience. He is about to teach an important truth. He does not want us to miss it.
“...Come now, you who say,”
“Go to now”
“Now I have a word for you”
He intentionally places this phrase here like a prod or goad.
* He wants to provoke a lifestyle change.
* This same truth needs to be communicated today.
In the context of James he is calling into question:
* Christians are acting like God by judging others
* Christians are acting like God by directing their lives leaving God out of the equation or picture!
James wants believers to forsake living like practical atheists. They profess that they know God but their hearts are cold and far away from God.
THE PROBLEM: A Shift / Transition has occurred within Christian Culture.
I do not need to read another book nor look at another poll or survey to conclude Christians in America are in trouble. Neither do you! America needs revival!
There was a time when Christians understood a Christ-Centered World View and questions like these:
* What is Christ’s will for my life?
* How does He want me to live?
* Who does He want me to marry (or if I should be married)?
* What does He want me to do vocationally?
* Where does He want me to serve?
CHRIST was once at the center of all of our decision-making!
All radiated outward from Christ at the CORE and center of our being!
“Me” often dominates today!
* This is what I want to do!
* These are my values!
* These are my Plans, Decisions and Choices and I want Jesus to bless them after I have made them!
“Love God and do as you please.”
“Do as you please and say that you love God.”
Jesus is still the “Headliner!”
* The Big Name (it is His Church)
* Christians still believe He exists
* They want Salvation – “Fire-Insurance”
We are content with our salvation but seem to have stopped at salvation (making a decision for Christ) and not continued on with Christ in Sanctification.
We neglect to continue to live in the presence of Christ every day and seeking to change all that is not Christ-like in our lives by His Word, Power and Grace so that we will be more like Him in our words, actions and deeds!