Sermon Notes 11/17/2019


James 4:13-17


As uplifting as having great hopes for tomorrow are, we have to be careful to understand that tomorrow may not be given to us. We need to make sure we are making use of each day we are given. And that's exactly what James is saying here in these verses 13-17 in the fourth chapter.


There are two conclusions we can draw from what James says in these verses. First of all, since life is brief, you and I had better prepare for the life after this life. It is God who has the final say about our life and all of our plans.


How do you prepare for a life after this life? You must first of all put your faith in Jesus Christ, in his power to save and to cleanse you from your sin. Then you need to lay up treasures in heaven by doing good to your neighbors, by living out your life of faith and telling others about the Savior, so that they might be drawn to him and become citizens of the kingdom of heaven.


There's another conclusion we can draw from the words of James. Since life is brief, we need to live it to the fullest extent possible by seeking always to be in the will of the Lord. We should never presume to map out life without submitting our plans and our hopes to this great God, our Creator, for his guidance and direction.


How can we find God's will? We do so by immersing ourselves in the word of God, in the scriptures, so that they bathe our souls in his great and eternal truths. They must become second nature to us, so that we can live out those great truths day by day in our relationships with others and with the Lord.


James closes this section with a stem warning. He says, “Whoever knows what is right to do and
fails to do it, to him it is sin.” He's warning against the sin of omission. Sins of omission are the greatest
sins that the people of God commit. Because of procrastination we never get around to doing those
things we ought to do and that God wants us to do. It steals productivity away, and effectiveness, and joy. Sins of omission are the greatest sins that we can commit.


Some sins of omission. The first is the sin of laziness.  Another is self-centeredness. And then there is the sin of silence. We fail to tell others the Good News about Jesus, and to speak out about what God’s will is on many subjects because we are too shy or because we do not want to “offend” anyone.

     First Covenant Church of Moline, IL 2018