Parkland First Baptist Church
August 14, 2022
      • 2 Samuel 7–13ESV

      • 2 Samuel 14–18ESV

      • 2 Samuel 19–24ESV

      • 1 Kings 1–2ESV

      • 1 Kings 3–7ESV

      • 1 Peter 5:7ESV

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        Raniesha Turner

        July 28, 2022 - 7:00 AM - 7:00 AM
  • Introduction

    Continuing in our series on “How to Live the Christian Life” from the book of James.
    James is such a hard book to go through because it turns our lives upside down.
    But it does this for our good as follower’s of Christ.
    Also, for the God’s glory among the lost and poor.
    I don’t know about you, but I have been challenged over the past several weeks.
    Facing temptations and trials.
    Show favoritism
    Controlling my tongue
    Living a Godly lifestyle rather than a worldly one.
    And today is no different.
    Knowing that the reason we have a hard time with little book is our selfish ambitions.
    How do we apply what we have learned thus far?
    Quickly and humbly.
    Today we will continue to see how a godly lifestyle shows itself in our thoughts about others and in our planning.
    James 4:11–17 CSB
    11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.

    Who Do You Think You Are? God! Verses 11-12

    Last week ended on what we looks like as a friend of God.
    James turns to on place that is so evident in our lives to show our love for God.
    As James rebuked prideful attitudes and call for us to be humble, we see today that human pride leads to disparaging criticism of others.
    When we are humble it will inevitably affect the way we speak to others.
    Chapter 3 began a discussion regarding our tongue and it’s dangers.
    Now it seem we have a bookend on this discussion in these verses.
    Worldly speech does to things.
    First, it discourages one another with slander and insulting language.
    To criticize someone is to speak against, to attack, or to slander another person.
    It usually involves talking behind their backs to other people.
    Gossip and slander will kill a friendship, a family, a church and a community.
    It is self-centered rather than God centered.
    Proverbs 6:16–19 CSB
    16 The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to him: 17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, 19 a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.
    Notice that last phrase: one who stirs up trouble among brothers.
    That’s all criticism of this type produces - Trouble.
    Living a life where you slander someone else is a contradiction of the close family ties we should have among fellow believers.
    Second thing worldly speech does is to dishonor God.
    When we slander someone we speak against the law.
    Now, you might say aren’t we no longer under the law? Yes
    However, we are not above God’s commands and Jesus told us to “Love our neighbor as ourselves.”
    We are called to love our neighbors and slandering someone is failure to obey this command.
    When we don’t obey we are saying that we will not follow God but the world.
    Another way slanderous speech dishonors God is by finding faults it sets myself up as a judge.
    I am then neglecting God’s law, declaring it a bad law and worthy of being removed.
    God calls us to keep the law, not to sit judgement on it.
    When we slander anyone - church member, friend, neighbor, co-worker - we show our opposition to the law of love and imply that we are exempt from obeying it.
    By dismissing the law, your dismiss the Law Giver, God Himself.
    Now there are places where God says in His Word that it is right and good to confront one another in sin, but this is done not out of selfish ambition or to hurt your brother, but to help him and to honor God.
    Criticizing does neither.
    Worldly speech discourages one another and dishonors God.
    Picking up from the earlier context we see that Godly speech, on the other hand, encourages one another and exalts God.
    This is the kind of speech that ought to characterize believers—speech that demonstrates a love of God and neighbor.
    Out of the overflow of our hearts we want our words to glorify God and to point others to His truth.
    This is true wisdom.
    This is what flows from the one who is a friend of God and not a friend of the world.

    Making Wise Plans Verses 13-16

    James now turns to making plans and how our friendship with the world or with God will dictate how we plan.
    It’s easy for Christians to make plans and goals, expecting God to fall in line with them.
    We plan as if we control the future and have unlimited authority over all factors affecting our life.
    We plan as if God does not exist.
    In a sense they are practical atheists.
    That is, in the way they make decisions and plan for the future, they live as if God didn’t exist.
    They take no account of God’s sustaining care or common grace; they act as if they are self-sufficient and in control; and they take credit for all the good they experience.
    James is likely describing businessmen who planned their lives without reference to God.
    They would plan their travels to sell their ware, or to buy to bring back to sell.
    Doing this kind of business was usually risky since the person doesn’t know what will happen along the way - robbers, storms, illness, or if he can sell or buy what he was after.
    Often those that travelled were wealthy and lived life quite independently.
    However, there are two features of life that we often forget when making long term plans.
    First, we have no sure knowledge of the future.
    We are not sovereign over the future, Only God is.
    We can so caught up in plans, plots, and strategies to and make money that we become blind to spiritual realities.
    The issue here is we plan and leave God completely out of the process.
    The problem with making these plans is simply we do not know what will happen tomorrow.
    Our future is not guaranteed.
    I’m you and me had great plans or goals for 2020 forward, but we didn’t expect a pandemic to cause all our plans to crash and burn.
    We don’t know when the eruption will occur on MT. Rainier, or an earthquake to strike causing a tsunami to hit the coast.
    These uncertainties should remind us that we need to completely depend on God.
    We need to aware that God is sovereign and has a major role in the future.
    One helpful, traditional prayer is: “Lord, I know I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m glad I know you hold the future!”
    Our attitude on any particular day must never leave us open to the response God gave the rich man in Jesus’ parable, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you” (Luke 12:20 NRSV).
    James illustrates his point by comparing our lives to a fog that settles in overnight and is burned away in the morning.
    Or a vapor or mist that comes out of mouth in cold weather.
    We think that we’ll live forever or to be real old before we die.
    But that is not the case, our lives are but a vapor that appears for a little while and then disappears.
    We need to live our day for God so, no matter when our lives end, we will have fulfilled God’s plan for us.
    Rather than boasting on what we did or will do, we need to have a mind-set that says, “I need the grace of God, and I am dependent on the will of God in every facet of my life.”

    Obey God’s Will Verse 17

    As we close this chapter, the key to living a Godly lifestyle is simple being obedient to God’s will.
    That means we need humble submit to God’s will as we humbly obey His will.
    To do that we need a new perspective on sin.
    We normally think of sin in terms of sins of commission: doing what God has said not to do.
    God says, “Do not lie,” and so you do not lie.
    God says, “Do not covet,” and so you do not covet.
    This is how we often think of sin—as not doing bad things.
    But James reminds us that just as serious as lying or coveting or doing anything else that God has said not to do are sins of omission: disregarding what God has said to do.
    This involves hearing the command of God to do something—such as the command to admit dependence on God when you make your future plans—and then choosing not to do it.
    For example, remember in chapter 1 James told us not to show favoritism.
    Consequently, it would be a sin of commission for us to show favoritism.
    But he’s also told us to care for the needy.
    Therefore, it would be sin of omission for us not to care for the needy.
    It is sin to know what is right and to fail to do it.
    These sins of omission refuse to make a right response to God.
    A sin of omission displeases God just as much as a sin of commission, that is, a blatant act against God’s will.
    We know to make our plans in reliance on God’s will.
    When we fail to follow this knowledge, we commit a sin of omission.
    God holds us accountable for more than merely knowing the right.
    He wants us to do the right.
    God wants us to avoid acts of disobedience to his will.
    He also wants us to avoid the failure to live up to the truth he has given us.
    The response of the lazy servant which Jesus condemned involved burying his money and failing to increase it by hard work and effort (Matt. 25:14–30).
    As Christians we must plan our lives in full commitment to the will and plans of God.
    We must also avoid omitting from our lives such important practices as prayer, Bible reading, helping the needy, and sharing our faith.
    To omit the latter is to commit a sin of omission.
    God wants our full and constant obedience

    How Do You Measure Up?

    Looking back on what we’ve studied, how do you measure up?
    How is your life different because, Jesus is in your life?
    Are you seeking Godly wisdom?
    Are trying to obey God’s will and you plan your future?
    As you seek to live a godly life, you will experience a renewed and refreshed vitality to your Christian faith.
    Ask Jesus into life or update your commitment.

    Let’s Pray!

      • James 4:11–17CSB

      • Proverbs 6:16–19CSB

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