Summary: As we consider the resolutions and plans we are making for the New Year ahead we need to realize that planning is important and that there is a right and wrong way to plan.


JAMES 4:13-17

Introduction: Most of us make resolutions and plans for the coming new year ¡V things we resolve to do and plans we intend to carry out. At the beginning of a new year, a high school principal decided to post his teachers¡¦ new year¡¦s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren¡¦t my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. Her first resolution was that she was not going to let little things upset her in the New Year. (Copied from Frank Houston) As we consider the resolutions and plans we are making for the New Year ahead we need to realize that planning is important and that there is a right and wrong way to plan

I. The Benefit of Planning

A. There is nothing wrong with making plans. We should all plan and prepare for the future.

B. A lasting work requires extensive preparation.

C. Luke 14:28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"

D. In the spring of 1981, a young man was flown into desolate northern Alaska to photograph the natural beauty and mysteries of the tundra. He took along 500 rolls of film, several firearms, and 1,400 pounds of provisions. As the months passed, the words in his diary changed from wonder and fascination into a nightmare. In August he wrote, ¡§I think I should have used more foresight about arranging my departure. I¡¦ll soon find out.¡¨ In November he died in a nameless valley, by a nameless lake, 225 miles northeast of Fairbanks. An investigation revealed that though he had carefully planned his trip, he had made no provision to be flown out. (Our Daily Bread, March-May, 1998, p. for March 24)

E. Romans 12:11 "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;"

F. He who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.

G. Areas of planning reflected in verse 13 ¡V ¡§To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain¡¨

1. Where you will live - move, establish a residence

2. How you will make a living - get a job, start a business, launch a career

3. What you are going to do ¡V vacation, travel, leisure activities

H. He who lays no plans for the future will have an empty old age

I. Proverbs 6:6-8 "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: [7] Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, [8] Provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest."

J. Paul does not censure forming plans and designs. It is not looking forward that he condemns but looking forward without God.

II. The Sin of Humanistic Planning ¡V Planning without God

A. Verse 15-16 ¡V ¡§For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.¡¨

B. Most go through life doing what and living the way they want seldom considering God.

C. The Rich Fool - Luke 12:16-20 "And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: [17] And he thought within himself, saying, ¡¥What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?¡¦ [18] And he said ¡¥This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.¡¦ [19] And I will say to my soul, ¡¥Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.¡¦ [20] But God said unto him, ¡¥Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?¡¦"

D. Man often foolishly boasts about his abilities, work, successes, and possessions without considering that all that one has is due to God and rests in His hands.

E. Psalms 10:4 "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." That is ¡§In all his thought processes there is no room for God.¡¨

F. We impart this ¡§without God¡¨ mindset in our children while they are young asking them, ¡§What do you want to be when you grow up?¡¨ when we should be saying, ¡§What do you believe God wants you to do when your grown up?

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