Summary: James asks the question What is your life? Let’s examine what scripture says it is and ought to be.
What is your life?
All that has to be said are two numbers 9-11 and memories and reflections of where we were and what we saw and what we thought come flooding the consciousness. Sit in silence for just 5 seconds and recall the sites and recall the emotions. ABC NBC CBS FOX PBS will all have their documentary salutes to the events. Questions continue to pour in. What happened? How? Why? Many have come to God, grown closer, many more have fled Him and don’t trust Him anymore. The Question I want to attend to is a question that is found in the middle of the text. With today’s uncertainties and no promise for a tomorrow it would seem this question leaped off the page when I read it. What is your life? Can we answer that? In reflection on 9-11 what is our life what should it be?
I. Your life should be an influence (11,12)
a) Has the events of September 11th changed our perspective on people?
i) Have they made us endure and grasp on to those relationships that are near and dear to us?
ii) The scripture in verse 11,12 and last years tragedy should remind us that every word we say to people has the potential of being the last they hear.
iii) How many men and women are grieving because they didn’t get to say I’m sorry or I forgive you or I love you…
iv) To think that the events of last year have changed people and made them more aware and alert would be accurate.
v) To say that they have become more spiritually minded may not be as accurate.
vi) For a month there was meetings of religious minds, an eclectic prayer meeting took place September 23rd where all faiths converged at Yankee Stadium and spoke from their spiritual readings and said philosophical gibberish to appease seeking hearts and raise patriotism… deemed a prayer meeting. Not a memorial service. To who?
vii) All the great religions were represented… who wasn’t there. Not David Wilkerson of Time Square Church who began Teen Challenge. Not Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle a church of nearly 8000 people. Not Billy Graham the great evangelist of our day.
viii) Why? Did they not receive their invitation? Were they too busy that day?
ix) There were “Christian” representatives, but who of them would use the name of Jesus? Making the scripture “whatever you ask in my name it shall be done” null and void
x) In such a large prayer meeting with open doors open to everyone, every faith Jesus was not invited.
xi) We have to be careful about using that name it offends people.
xii) We have to be careful about what we say and what we do it may offend
xiii) But Jesus said, in Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
xiv) Be not ashamed of Jesus’ name… Be not ashamed of the Holy Spirit
b) Has 9/11 Changed Our relationships with people
i) It is by this name that we have the answer to every longing heart.
ii) I am convinced that it is only by making yourself a disciple of His, will that longing and wondering and questions in your heart be met.
iii) After these events has our relationships with people improved? Has the message of Christ been invigorated in us or did that last for a month and die away as we became more concerned with the financial crisis we have experienced over the year.
iv) Our words we speak to others is precious in this day…
c) Has 9/11 Changed Our hunger to evangelize
i) September 11th should have increased our desire to speak the name of Jesus, to prick their hearts with the gospel message. To give an answer…
ii) This is a reminder for us today. September 11th should remind us of the lives of others as well as our own. Time is precious tomorrow is uncertain..
II. Your life is an Uncertainty? (13,14)
a) Has the events of September 11th changed our perspective on our tomorrows?
i) (14) you do not what will happen tomorrow Early Christians who lived in these days, which James was speaking to, were not assured their tomorrows
ii) Any moment soldiers could have broken in dragging them to prison
iii) Any moment that could be snatched away and murdered
iv) For someone working in the WTC the day the airliner smashed into the building they understood uncertainty. A beautiful day that was suddenly filled with smoke.
b) Uncertainty brings a sense of insecurity