A passage in James teaches us an important lesson about what to focus on in our lives.
[Gary Petty] There's a passage in the book of James in the New Testament that has led to a bit of misunderstanding. Let's look at it here. James writes, "Come now you who say today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell and make a profit, whereas do you not know what will happen tomorrow?" No, wait a minute. Stop here because he's making a negative comment.
People say, "Well, I guess he's making a negative comment about planning for the future or making a profit." That's not his point at all. Now he is talking about people who are totally into making a profit, working without other purpose. But he's not saying those things in themselves are evil because listen to what he says here. He says, "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Instead, he didn't say, stop doing those things, let's everybody just go live in a commune. He says, "Instead, you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." If the Lord wills.
In other words, what he's saying is we have all these human plans making money, getting things, doing all these activities. He says, "Stop and say, let's see what God wants, what God wills." And if God wills, then this will happen, something good will happen. Instead, he says, "You ought to look at it this way, but now you boast in your arrogance." All such boasting is evil. All such boasting about, look what I can do, look what I can accomplish. Look what I can accomplish if God allows it, if God blesses it.
But here's how he finishes it."Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him, it is sin." Sometimes we have a very narrow definition of sin, it's the breaking of God's law, which is one of the definitions. But here he says, "When we get so caught up in getting things and making money and building our little private empires or getting a new boat or a new car, whatever it is, when we wrap ourselves into that so much, we forget to do good, it's sin." (James 4:13-17)
So whatever you do today, your projects, your work, your own personal pursuits of your hobbies or whatever, don't forget, take every opportunity today to do good. And then if those other things are successful it will be because God wills it.
This is BT Daily. Thanks for watching.