James- Day 46

Monday, October 31, 2011 

“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:”
James 4:13

James is addressing a portion of his audience that was apparently entrepreneurial.  He was speaking to them about their plans.  These people had very, very strategic plans.  Their plans actually could potentially be a good example to those of us who want to be good stewards of the time, and resources that God has given us.  Their plans included:

  • a time- “Today or tomorrow”- The idea that two options are talked about here does not mean that they were being careless about this decision.  They had specific reasons and thoughts specific to the timing of their venture.
  • a place- “such” a city- This could mean that they had planned a specific city or at least a specific type of city in which they planned to conduct their business.
  • a duration- “a year”- The plans descirbed here were not short term plans like a business trip over a weekend.  These were long-term, life altering decisions that are being described.
  • a goal- “buy and sell and get gain”- These people were not just carelessly planning a vacation or buying a home.  They were being strategic with what they were trying to accomplish.  They were chasing investment opportunities and business ventures.

As I’m writing this devotion, I’m sitting at Panera Bread, which is a place I like to go from time to time to think, study and write.  At the table next to me is what looks to be a father and a daughter planning out the daughters spring semester of college.  It’s pretty cool to see a dad taking such an interest in his daughters future to help her make decisions about what classes to take, and strategies to employ in being successful in college.  It is interesting that this is the environment in which I’m reading what James has to say about planning.  It further proves James overall point.

We plan all of the time over our entire lives.  Even those who don’t plan have really just planned not to plan.  What I mean is that they have chosen to do something else with their time other than taking the appropriate amount of time to really think through their future.

James is not against planning.  (Check out verse 15 coming up!).  A failure to plan appropriately is a surefire plan to fail.  James is against incomplete planning as we will see tomorrow.

Application:
Although James’ point in this text is not to give us inspiration or information on how to plan, it seems a good time to ask this question.  Have you taken time to think about your future?  Have you been purposeful and pro-active about where you are going and what you are doing?  If you haven’t, and if you have, make sure to come back all week long as we look at what James has to say about planning.  If you haven’t thought about your future and where you are going, how can you start today?

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13 thoughts on “James- Day 46

  1. Mafalda Delienne

    I have thought about my future like we’re an I gonna be and what I’m gonna do but I haven’t decide anything yet I think of something I want to do then I think oh that’s to hard so I haven’t gotten notting yet, and to be honest I have like no idea how I can start today.

  2. I was planning all my life to do what I wanted for my life. I wanted to be a nurse because I loved to help people and it was a good paying job. Then I got into high school and started planning for my career by taking a lot of health classes and discovered that being a nurse just wasn’t for me. I had to start rethinking my future and think about what else I wanted to do. I found myself thinking too much about what my plan was for my life rather then God’s. I started looking into colleges and discovered that going to a bible college was what I really wanted. I wanted a school with a good foundation one where I can really learn biblical aspects within learning my career. Then I found out that because I love kids and because I love teaching things that I wanted to major in elementary education. I had no idea what I wanted for my life because everything I wanted kept getting shut out, but God led me to things that doors just keep opening up to. Planning is important and the next verse we’re looking at tomorrow shows how crucial it is to spend this time we have here on earth wisely! Life seems scary sometimes, but with God it’s not so scary because He’s with us guiding us through!

    1. Sandi Volskay

      Mel, I’m so glad that you realize at a young age that planning is important and that you’re asking for God’s direction. Making plans keeps us moving forward, even if our plans change as we go. That’s OK. But, having no direction or motivation at all can cause us to have an unproductive life. Careful and prayerful planning is part of being a good steward of the time,talents and resources God has given us.

  3. Megan

    I have learned the importance of planning from my husband. He is so great at it and is getting better each moment. Some things are easy to plan and others are really hard. I think that it’s great to happen to life rather than let life happen to you. Enjoy the moments and moments to come. It’s wise to plan. Part of this wisdom of planning is also allowing God to change your plans on a moments notice. All your plans should include God so that as He moves you can move too.
    There are some things that seem larger than others but as long as we include God He will help guide us through it all. That’s a nice promise to know and live by.

  4. Tristian Lechien

    I have thought about my future. I have always had an intrest in meteorology. And I was thinking tht maybe god wanted me to be on the television and do the weather forecast. But maybe not. God has a plan for my life, not jut mine but everyone’s to!! 😉 it’s amazing! 🙂 Great Devo!!!! 🙂 love u guys and I will c u guys soon!!!

    Prayer request:: I’m in Missouri and it’s not working out for the move so I’m COMING BACK!!!!!!! I can’t wait to c u guys! 🙂 I’m leaving tmrw morning and be there soon Ill probably c u guys on Sunday!!!!! 😀

    1. grace

      ah! 😀 yay! you’re coming back! I’ll be praying that when you come back everything works out for you and your parents….financially and stuff 🙂

  5. i’ve thought about my future so many times.im interested in going 2 bible college and then going in to ministry.its my dream.i hope thats what God wants me 2 do.like tristi said he has a plan 4 our lives!! 🙂

    im sorry the move didn’t work out tristi. 😦 sooooo happy ur coming back!!! 🙂 i’ve missed u already!! 🙂 love ya guys!! 🙂 see u guys in a few!!!! 🙂 <333333

  6. grace

    I feel like I fail to plan a lot. I’m getting close to the end of high school so I need to kick it up a notch. I have no clue what i want to do with my life as far as careers go. I’ve been praying about that lately. I don’t know what college I even want to go to. I’m sure God will reveal all His plans to me, though. And I have a question that has nothing to do with this. I was gonna ask on Sunday but I never got around to it.

    Pastor Ben and leaders: What do you believe about speaking in tongues? Reference 1Corinthians 14
    I’m just confused because at my friends church they speak in tongues and I’ve seen it used to give a message from God to someone who really needed it, but then at the same time people say it’s not from God and some even say on a complete different scale that it comes from the devil. I’m just so unsure about it. I kind of believe it’s from God personally cause I’ve had the experience of recieving one of those “messages” so….please help. haha. it would be nice.

    1. grace

      oh! and i meant to say that i was definitely interested in going to Bible college. I’m kind of interested in being a missionary, but I feel like I wouldn’t have enough guts and i would fail. And people let me down so much I have fallen in love with cute little children. 🙂 So i was thinking something with kids….or like a special needs school for kids 🙂

  7. ryan via

    I get asked that question a lot, (and do you play basketball) and I really dont have an answer. It is so important that we dont let life just happen to us. That is why it is important that Gods will is done and not ours. God has a plan for each one of us and its just being willing for him to do what He has planned.

  8. That is a great question Grace. It can be a very confusing subject . I’d love to take a few minutes with you and show you from the Bible what I believe about that issue. I love that question!

  9. Alexis Catapane

    I tend to think about my future a lot. But not like planning, more like day-dreaming. I really don’t know what God wants me to do with my life, and waiting to find out is really teaching me some patience! Sometimes I think “ugh, I wish I would know what I’m supposed to be doing.” but I know everything will work out in Gods timing! One thing that I always have a hard time with when it comes to my future is making decisions! I hate having to make tough decisions, and I would hate to make the wrong decisions and disappoint God. But sometimes it takes me so long to make these decisions that opportunity or whatever it was passes and there’s no need to make the decision, so I kinda wasted time fretting over it. But I’ve been learning that sometimes I just need to go with what I think God wants, and not take so much time. Cause if it is what He wants, everything will work out the way He planned! 🙂
    Sorry the comment is so late, but I really like this topic and I’m glad we get to study it this week!

    1. Megan

      One of the great things about tgis topic of planning and the future is that we don’t have to wake up one day and know. The bible talks about small vs. little many times. Right now as students you are being held accountable for what is going on in your lives. God is allowing you to plan and follow Him through some pretty important small decisions. For example, if you have a hard time with following friends then you might not be ready to make a stone decision about what you are going to do with your life. We make plans and decisions all along the way and we grow our faith in God and He allows us to make larger choices. It takes baby steps. So the best way you can know if something is what God wants is are you 100% fully involved in what He wants for you now. I you can stay on the path of doing what He wants now then it will become more clear as you go on and make bigger decisions later. It’s a marathon not a sprint. We have to pace ourselves all along the way.

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