James has been addressing the importance of seeking the Lord’s will in our future plans…
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17)
This is the final verse of Chapter 4; we only have one chapter of James remaining. Taking just one verse each day has had its challenges, but also its rewards. One of the benefits has been that it really makes me think about how each verse relates to the verses around it.
This statement in verse 17 comes on the heels of a warning not to boast about our future plans, but to seek God’s guidance and follow His leading. We need to remember that He leads in the little things as well as in the big things. Some of the major decisions of life involve things like choosing a career, a spouse, a place to live, and a church to attend. However, every day we make hundreds of “little” decisions that may not seem very significant, but they add up to create the big picture of our life and character.
I don’t think God is looking for us to hold a major prayer meeting each day before deciding what to wear, what to eat for lunch, or where to buy gas and groceries. These things can be covered by a simple prayer for God to guide us through the day. However, we also face decisions such as how we will respond to that person who just criticized us, or whether we will show kindness to that person who everyone else is ostracizing at school or work. Will we be courteous or grumpy toward the clerk at the check-out? Will we make time for our children, or just brush them aside?
We cannot help every person, solve every problem, or contribute to every good cause. However, we can do our part, and the more we get in tune with Jesus, the more He will show us the part He wants us to play. There will be times when He opens up opportunities for us to share our faith, speak words of encouragement, give money, etc. We will feel that tug at our hearts, and we will just know in that moment what He would like us to do. The closer we get to Him, the better we will understand His will.
We know that sin is doing bad things God says we should not do, but sin is also failing to do the good things God says we should do. The future can seem overwhelming, especially when we are facing a season of transition or uncertainty in our lives. Thankfully we don’t need to have the next twenty years all figured out now; we just need to do what He has asked of us today. Who does He want us to help? Who needs our encouragement? With whom can we share the Good News? If each day we are doing what God wants us to do, the future will take care of itself.
Today’s Good News is that we don’t need to have the future all figured out. We just need to follow Jesus one minute at a time.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you have missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.