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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.

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PLANNING FOR THE NEW YEAR

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.¡¨


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