James 4:13-17

Our Scripture reading for today is:

James 4:13           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.” 14 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. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

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The Church Father Oecumenius writes in his commentary on James concerning verse 14 and the fleeting nature of temporal riches:

“James says this in order to indicate just how fleeting and empty our present life is. He wants to make us ashamed of the fact that we spend all our time engaged in its vanity, and in the evils of this age and in things which, as soon as they are accomplished, disappear, and all our labor vanishes with them.”

No matter how we look at it, no matter the gyrations we put our mind through and excuses we make, at the end of the day, it is a very rare person these days that is truly focused on Godliness rather than making as much money as they can so they can boast and enjoy themselves on the weekend. But I am HAPPY to say we actually have quite a few of those rare birds here at Peace Lutheran!

But for you as the reader of this blog, (the one or two of you), and all who might read this passage in James, the question is for YOU: Is your heart truly an “If it is the Lord’s Will” kind of heart who is perfectly content to reside in the palm of the Lord’s hand? Is YOUR heart in any way tainted with the stain of the world and the many opportunities for you to boast in something other than the Lord.

If so (and it really is for so for all of us to some extent or another), today is the day that we can do the good we know we ought to do! Today is the day to turn your face to Jesus and know His powerful Grace and Mercy for you. Today is the day for you to know His forgiveness anew and live aright!

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