Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Making Plans and Doing

Making Plans and Doing 
by David Brenneman 

‭"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:13-17.
"Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Romans 12:17-18.

Perhaps these two passages go together, perhaps not, but I didn't choose them.  

We indeed are a people who love to be spontaneous in doing life. Often not considering that there's something more that Jesus is seeking to accomplish in us and others. Often neglecting to do what's right in the sight of all men. What's right may not include what's popular. What's right may not be what everyone else is doing or saying. There indeed is a connection between these two passages...you.

You and I, when we came to Christ for salvation, were immediately included in His plans for you and mankind. As we see in the day-to-day lives of the Disciples, His plans for them superceded their own. On many occasions we see the other passage play out as well. 

The passage from Job is one that constantly comes to mind when people ask me about meeting up. There's this thought in the back of my mind to not be so sure of being secure in my decision to say yes or no. I will most likely answer with what I hope to be able to do or to be able to be at. As I have been shown in my life rather clearly, life can change in a moments notice. 

Millions of people last night had their lives changed in a moments notice. Some didn't make it to work because someone crossed their path in a wrong way. Some didn't wake up last night and either went home to Heaven or didn't go to Heaven. Some got news that altered their life in ways as yet unimagined for good. Still others in ways never imagined for not so good things or ways. Some spent the night wrestling with demons. Some spent the night wrestling with Jesus in prayer. 

Some had a peaceful night and simply are awaiting the fruits of today.  

We are an arrogant lot. Don't take my word for that, read it in your Bible. Arrogant and more. We are tempted to do and think of what is right in our own eyes. The unsaved man or woman of this world are all doing whatever is right in their own eyes. 

The Believer is to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  

"Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Respecting what is right involves only what the Word of God says is right. Which, by consequence, might not allow you to be at peace with all men.  

We must choose to stand firm in Christ in order for the works of God to be made known to all men.  

So be prepared, you're not likely to be popular in a good way.  

Our walk with Jesus should be one where the light of Jesus Christ is seen in this present darkness. Read the first chapter of the book of John. The darkness hated the Light for it deeds were evil. Doing what is right in the sight of God will not keep you in the good graces of the world.

Daniel, and later his 3 friends, stood firmly in their lives in Christ. The things that Satan tried to throw at them! Joseph often felt lost in a foreign country. We read that he was strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 

Satan's schemes include getting us to "blow" opportunities. To justify ourselves in our own eyes before men and women rather than to walk as we are being trained to by the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus. His schemes include our own pride that we will not be fully rid of until we are called home to Heaven or the Rapture of the Church happens.  

When you face people today or are maybe alone and by yourself in your own thoughts...keep your eyes open for such schemes.  

It's ok to plan for this or that, but, always be ready for that which might be God saying otherwise. 

That last part of where we read in James.
"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." It's on us, daily, hourly, minute-by-minute, to consider our ways. We read that phrase often in the Bible. We're not off the hook because we have at our disposal a lifeline by way of prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ.  

It's on us to be in the Word of God daily. If you're not...then you aren't doing the right thing as mentioned here.

It's on us to be in prayer daily if not more so during the day. If you're not...then you aren't doing the right thing. 

If you're not including Jesus in your plans...yes...that means you aren't doing the right thing. 

If you're not...well you can see where this is going. It's all part of seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.   

If your career or pursuit of wealth towards retirement is more important than God's plan for you...then you too aren't doing the right thing. 

If your mind is set on pleasing yourself more than it is in pleasing Jesus then you're not doing the right thing.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

As a line from a hymn goes "Where He leads me I will follow...where He leads me I will follow..." Is this true of your life?  

The Disciple's plans were whatever was on the mind of Jesus to be doing, wherever He was going. 

Doing all this might not make you popular or immediately bring you joy or peace. It may bring you into the cross hairs of many people for ill towards you. The Bible says clearly to stand firm. Suit up in the full armor of God and stand firm. The Lord will fight your fight. 

Take a good hard look at your life.

First, as Paul wrote, be sure of your salvation. Second, walk with Jesus in everything. Give of your best to your Master and Lord Jesus Christ. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.  

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