“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
James cautioned us on boasting about tomorrow. We do not know what tomorrow holds but we do know who holds tomorrow in his hands. I heard many years ago that if you want to make God laugh just tell him YOUR plans! James exhorted us to say, “If the Lord will” we will do such and such. Millions of people’s plans changed in a moment’s time during this pandemic. Anxiety has filled the air and many have been stricken by the unseen virus, the vast majority of them recovering and many do not even know they have it.
In times like these we all tend to reflect on our mortality especially when there is a tragic loss of one of our own loved ones or friends. James asked the question, “For what is your life”? He then answers it very succinctly: “It is even a vapour”. Another way of putting it is, “A flash in the pan”. It appears momentarily and then it vanishes away. Our life is displayed as the dash between the day we are born and the day we die. What is most important is what we do with the dash; the time God has allotted to us.
Jesus exhorted us in the Sermon on the Mount what our priority should be as pertaining to daily living in Math 6:25-34:
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
Although we can learn from the past and have fond memories of things that have already been experienced and we can hope for tomorrow and plan as we should while making allowance for God to change our plans, what is most important for all of us is to seek first the kingdom of God today. We all have things we must do and rightfully so. At the forefront of it all needs to be an attitude and way of life that says, “God, what would you have me to do today”? We must live every day with a desire to please God in every way. Life can have a way of causing us to be anxious on the one hand or have our plans set in concrete that nothing is going to interrupt.
In the end life must be lived as we go along making allowances for the challenges we unexpectedly face. There is enough evil today that we must conquer without adding tomorrow’s evil to it. God knows what we have need of and he will supply all of our needs according to his riches in glory. As was talked about in a previous post Psalm 118:24 is a great verse that reminds us that:
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it”.
Our life’s journey will be the compilations of each and every day that we lived for God seeking his kingdom. Let’s make every day count. Time for us is as a vapor whereas eternity is forever and ever! Let’s make a difference today and a purchase a bright hope for tomorrow!
Pastor Ken Winkler