Summary: Learning that God is in control of all things--including time.
Title: Only if the Lord Wills
Text: James 4:13-17 (NCV) "Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money." 14 But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. 15 So you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that." 16 But now you are proud and you brag. All of this bragging is wrong. 17 Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, is sinning."
Introduction: The passing of time is an amazing thing. When I think that tomorrow we will be celebrating Christmas AGAIN, it makes my head swim.
It seems like only yesterday: That we were doing Christmas worried about Y2K. That my kids were born. I was married. I was riding a bicycle to the store to get a bag of chips, coke, and candy bar with only a quarter.
What would you fill in the blank with after “It seems like only yesterday”?
1. Self-Confident Society. "Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.” (Verse 13)
A. How many times have we heard that in America, you can do anything you want?
‒ In our country we talk about self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-motivation.
‒ We concentrate on what WE can do.
‒ Whereas I think we need a healthy does of these things, (KEY WORD: HEALTHY) the real problems we have stem from the idea that I can do what I want.
1. Jails are full of people who did what they want.
2. Homes are broken by parents and children who do what they want.
3. Churches have been destroyed by people who did what they wanted to do.
2. The Main Focus Is Wrong. “...do business, and make money.”
A. We focus so much on doing business and making money. (Even Christmas has become that)
‒ We teach our children much about going to college and getting a good job.
‒ We focus all of our time on the office and job.
‒ Again, I say that money and jobs are an important part of life.
1. “If a man won’t work neither should he eat.”
B. I think that one reason time does fly so rapidly is our focus and drive to have more stuff.
3. Control and Time are Fleeting (Verse) 14 “But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away.”
A. Control is fleeting: “You don’t know what will happen.”
‒ Look at the amount of time spent in our society trying to predict the future.
1. Weather, Presidential election, Sports shows, so called psychics.
‒ God says, “You don’t know what will happen.”
B. Time is fleeting: “...like a mist....”
‒ The point has already been made. Time is rapidly leaving us.
1. Someone said, “The older you get the faster it goes.”
2. Now that is hard to imagine.
3. Time will go away.
4. If the Lord Wills. (Verse 15) So you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that."
A. Why should we say, “If the Lord wills?”
‒ God is in control: 1 Corinthians 15:25-27 (NCV) "Christ must rule until he puts all enemies under his control. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. 27 The Scripture says that God put all things under his control. When it says "all things" are under him, it is clear this does not include God himself. God is the One who put everything under his control."