James #9 – How does faith work for life planning?

In this incredibly practical sermon from James 4:13-17, Pastor Mark preaches on the fact that life has uncertainty and brevity and, since God has sovereignty, we should have humility and urgency.

How does faith work for life planning? James 4:13-17

a.    Kid – start dreaming about what you will be & done when grow up

b.    School – learn how you are different than other kids & your possible path

c.    High school – pressure to pick your path & get on it

d.    College – great anxiety as you wonder if you’re on the right path ??

e.    Workforce – career path peril?

f.     Get married – throws all plans in the air

g.    Have kids – throws all plans up in the air again

h.    50’s/60’s – pressure of retirement planning

People fail in 1 of 2 ways w/planning

  1. Plan never works so they stop planning
  2. They stick with their plan no matter what

A. CLOSED HAND (xn, Grace, kids)       B. OPEN HAND (state, church, job, etc.)

Life Has Uncertainty

James 4:13-14a Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Leaders – false prophets oversell & under-deliver (esp. in business)

= honesty, margin, contingency plans

  1. Process Leadership – make a plan & stick with it (GPS car story)
  2. Pivot Leadership – make a plan & adjust as needed

Prov 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty”

Prov 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

The last 18ish months have proven this point LOUDLY – Run to Reality

Life Has Brevity

James 4:14b What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Wisdom Literature (Job, SOS, Proverbs, Psalms, James)

·         Ecclesiastes – 1st philosophy 1000 years BC (Epimenides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle)

·         38X -opens & closes Hebrew “hebel”. The word, like life, is nearly impossible to nail down. “meaningless”, “vanity”, & “emptiness”

·         OT = vapor, wispy, fleeting, elusive, and quickly passing

Grandpa George. Grandpa Gib.

Don’t miss the sacred moments (baseball & track)

God Has Sovereignty

James 4:15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

·         Planning -not problem, presumption is (“God opposes proud, gives grace humble”)

Cliché vs Conviction – “Lord willing” “if the Lord wills”

·         There is a sovereign. I am not the sovereign.

·         Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

  1. I believe I am walking in God’s will for my life
  2. But I welcome him to change my plans

            Our Family story & me resetting my family plan

We Should Have Humility

James 4:16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

-Everyone wants a Savior

-Causes us to make promises we cannot keep & overcommit to more than we can do

-Boss, Coach, Candidate

-Idolize/Demonize cycle

  1. Know that your plate belongs to God
  2. Know the size of your plate
  3. Know what to take off your plate
  4. Know what to put on your plate

John 5:36 “the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing…”

=BOAT STORY – Working in your life vs on your life

We Should Have Urgency

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

  • You cannot control 1. How many days do you have 2. What the next day has
  • You can control what you do today

Finding God’s Will

  1. Scripture
  2. Prayer
  3. Wise Counsel
  4. Holy Spirit uses both ordinary & extraordinary means

Invite Band & Prayer Team

God is working out His plan for everyone & everything

-1 of densest verses in whole Bible, 1:3-14 one sentence, 202 words = call to worship

Ephesians 1:3–10 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.14 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.


We live in the middle of God’s plan between Jesus’ resurrection & return

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Mark Driscoll

It's all about Jesus! Read More