Living To Glorify The Lord

James 4:13-17 (KJV) 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:  [14]  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  [15]  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. [16] But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.  [17]  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

A family went to Church for the first time in a long time. After the services the father started complaining. He didn’t like the sermon – it was too long. The mother chimed in … the songs were the wrong sort, and the crowd wasn’t that friendly. Back and forth they kept complaining until they got tired. Injames_4_13t17_live_to_glorify_god the silence their ten year old son said:

I didn’t think it was too bad for a dollar!”

What is YOUR Life? When Life is YOUR Life then it is like a fog that is here one day, then the Son rises – and it is vanished. Like the fog dissipates, the life lived for SELF – YOUR Life – has no substance. We are to live our lives not like they are OURS, but like they are a GIFT from a LOVING GOD.

God has been good to all of us, in fact, better than we deserve. God gives us our lives. He gives us all that we have. He has given us our salvation, and has given us His Kingdom. Life – both eternal and temporal – is a wonderful gift from God. As James the stepbrother of Christ (for Mary had additional children after the virgin birth of Christ – see Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56) addresses the Church he chastises them not for making plans but for making plans for their lives without consideration of God.

The Bible tells us that we should plan for tomorrow. We are told by the Psalmist:

Psalms 90:12 (KJV)  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

If God has given us our lives as stewardships then
we who are His should not just be existing.
We should be living every day as a trust from God.

Too many people live their lives compartmentalized. They go to work, and there is a “Work David”. Then they go home, and there is a “Home David”. Then they go to Church, and there is a “Church David”. But this is not how God wants us to live. It was the Holy Spirit of God Who came to you on the day you called upon Jesus for salvation. It is the Holy Spirit of God Who caused you to be born into the Family of God:

Titus 3:5 (ESV){God} saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

It is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, Who indwells the believer.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)  Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

A Child of God is empowered by God. Jesus told us in Acts 1:8 (ESV)   But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Evangelist Billy Graham said:

There are times I feel that I don’t have joy, and I get on my knees and say, “Lord, where is the fruit of joy in my life?” I find that the joy is there, down deep. It is a deep river. Whatever the circumstances, there is a river of joy. The peace that passes understanding comes from the Holy Spirit. Whatever the circumstances, I have peace in my heart. I know where I am going, I know where I have been. And I know why I am here–by the Holy Spirit. Do you know Christ? The Holy Spirit comes to magnify, to glorify and to exalt the Son. Jesus said the Holy Spirit shall not speak of Himself. He comes to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ. He comes to glorify Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14). And the Holy Spirit is pleased when you glorify Christ in your life.”

If you are saved, God is with you always, not just at Church. He is there always. God the Spirit enables us to love and glorify the Christ Who saved us.

The Unbeliever Works Without God’s Will In View

James rebukes those whom he is writing:

James 4:3-4 (KJV)  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  [4]  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

He calls those who live their lives to please themselves adulterers and adulteresses. Why? Because those who are saved by the Blood of Christ should be more concerned about their Lord’s will than about their wants. God saved you in a very real and personal way. You are bound to Christ INTIMATELY, dear Christian.

The unbeliever lives his or her life without consideration of God. They do not PLAN, they PRESUME.

Planning without God in mind is called presumption.
Presumption is condemned in the Scripture.

Jesus spoke a parable about a certain rich man who PRESUMED rather than PLANNED.

Luke 12:16-21 (KJV)  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:   [17]   And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?   [18]   And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.   [19]   And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.   [20]   But God said unto him, THOU FOOL, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?   [21]   So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

If you are God’s child by faith in Christ then you are to live your life not to please yourself, but Him Who loved you and gave Himself for you. You are not saved by works, but by His Blood. But if saved by His Blood and indwelt by His Spirit, you will live to bring glory to Him.

This man in Christ’s parable was a FOOL.

God’s Will was no where in this man’s heart.

It was HIS WILL that was his god.

The rich man prayed to himself – not to God but to himself.

He was the center of his universe.

Notice how he prays to himself:

What shall I do because I have so much plenty?

There was no recognition of the God Who gave him the plenty.

I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger barns!

GREED and not GRACE led this man.

I’ll tell MY SOUL “You have all you need for years to come!

How did God reply to this man? He said:

You FOOL!

He was a FOOL because he had life and plenty because of God’s Grace (for God causes the rain to fall on the good and the evil, and His sun blesses both the wicked and the righteous).

He lived not in God’s Grace but in Man’s Greed!

Psalms 14:1 (KJV)   The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

To live life as if God is not watching you is to be a FOOL.

To live life as if tomorrow is guaranteed is to be a FOOL.

Jesus said to the servant who did not care for his stewardship WICKED and SLOTHFUL (Matthew 25:26). But the person who serves not at all is FOOLISH, Godless.

This man was a fool for he lived as if he were immortal, as if life were forever. Life is a vapor which today is and tomorrow is not. God told the foolish rich man:

This night YOUR SOUL is required of thee.

The soul God gave you will go back to God. “All souls are mine” says the Lord, “And the soul that sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20).

And who will enjoy these things that you have accumulated?

The man laid up treasure for himself, living as if he were God. But we are not God. God is God, and what we have we have in stewardship for Him.

We Are To Glorify God, Not Ourselves

James 4:13-15 (KJV) 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:  [14]  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  [15]  For that YE OUGHT TO SAY, IF THE LORD WILL

Those who love the Lord, who are part of His Kingdom, are concerned more about HIS Will than they are about THEIR Will. He is our Leader, our King, our Savior. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do ALL to the glory of God.

Our lives on this earth seem long to us, but are really short in comparison with the future lives we will have in glory. This life was only meant to be temporary, a warm up for better things to come. IF you are saved THEN you are to live THIS life for Christ. The Apostle said:

Colossians 3:1-4 (KJV)  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  [2]  SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth.  [3]  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  [4]  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

God doesn’t mind that we take some “me” time, but this is certainly not to be the driving force in our lives. IF you are RISEN WITH CHRIST (that is, not a lost soul) THEN SEEK THOSE THINGS that are above. Your affections should be set on those things which are above, on pleasing the God Who saved you.

Israel lost the blessings of Canaan because Israel didn’t look UP but looked BACK. They were not GRACE oriented but GRUMBLE oriented.

A man known for complaining inherited a large sum of money from his grandfather. He decided to take the money and buy a farm. He told his wife “I know I got a lot of money, but I wish I had gotten more. I would have like to have bought a bigger farm! What am I going to call this pitiful purchase?” His wife said, “I know. Why don’t you call it ‘Belly Acres’?”

Israel was a bunch of “belly acres”. Rather than praise God and move forward to the Promised Land they looked backward to Egypt. The Bible says:

Numbers 11:4-6 (ESV) Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

When Israel was in Egypt they were slaves. They are slaves still, for they are not serving God but their bellies. God wants to give them Canaan, but they instead embrace defeat and death. How sad is that?

God has given us what He has given us for His glory. Let us heed to words of James:

James 4:15-16 (KJV)  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  [16]  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

The Lord’s Will in our lives is what we should seek. We should live our Christian lives on purpose for God. Set goals, but make sure that ultimately your goal is to glorify God, to magnify His goodness. James ends with these words:

James 4:17 (KJV)  Therefore to him that KNOWETH to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

The word “KNOWETH” is the Greek εἴδω eidō, which means “to perceive with any of the senses, to have knowledge of a thing”. When you see a good that needs to be done but refuse to do it, this is sin. God speaks to His people through His Spirit. “My sheep hear My Voice, I know them, and THEY FOLLOW ME” (John 10:27). Israel refused to hear and obey the clear leading of God and died in the wilderness.

We who belong to Jesus are to do good.

We are to plan our lives with the glory of God in mind.

We are to live each day knowing that tomorrow on this earth is not promised.

We will ONE DAY stand before Jesus. Let’s stand with Jesus NOW.

Do good. It is GOOD to share the Gospel. It is GOOD to give – both tithe and time – to God’s Kingdom. It is GOOD to prepare for tomorrow’s Church. It is GOOD to love and help fellow believers as we grow His Kingdom where we are.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.”
Psalm 116:7

May God touch your hearts with His Word

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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