Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

"Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:11-17
As I was preparing this series of sermons I looked over this section of verses and thought, "Why are these verses tacked on here? They don't seem to fit."
Perhaps I was a bit hasty. Indeed I was!
On further inspection it not only fits in this section but it actually summarizes it!
I will be examining it this week and then putting it all together in Sunday's message. Stay tuned this week it should be helpful!
Yesterday's message ended at verse 10 taking about humility. These verses show several illustrations of humility.
Let's start with the big picture. It makes a difference when you look at life from an eternal perspective. Don't you agree that it influences your thinking and decision-making when you understand you are going to live somewhere forever?
It absolutely does!
First, it changes how you look at yourself and your spiritual condition. If your eternal destiny is at stake and dependent upon what you believe and how you behave that will impact your decisions and your actions. And it should!
Second, it impacts how you look at others. If they are eternal and you are eternal and how you treat them has eternal consequences it ups the ante, doesn't it? When you understand that your slander or accusations about another person could possibly influence what happens to him eternally, that causes you to be more careful! By the way, it will have an impact on your behavior as well!
Third, it should determine how you relate to time. Since how you spend your time determines how you spend your eternity, be very wise about how you spend your time! You will understand that people of faith don't spend time - they invest in it! Planning is paramount! But planning must be done with the humble recognition that God is in charge of time and He must be vitally involved in how you think about planning.
So, properly relating to time and eternity will necessarily result in an attitude of humility. Humility looks like someone who lives, loves and plans backwards - from eternity to today. If you were to live today from an eternal perspective, what would you do differently?
Take some time to ponder and pray about that. See what happens.