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December 30, 2020 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ and you just assume that another year but I do think what tomorrow might hold you in America on December 7 19 tomorrow to change anything changed everything tomorrow you get a diagnosis change of tamari to be in an accident tomorrow.
Tomorrow is you don't know anything about tomorrow you make these resolutions that what you're planning to do when you don't know anything about tomorrow joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us God's word meets our work. This next year. Are you going to follow Jesus are you going to ask Jesus following that most of us do more often and not what we end up doing, we make our own plans whenever they are in, and we ask God to bless, we say God. This is what I want to do not want you to bless what I'm doing. In other words, I want you to follow me as I go forward in my life is not new.
It occurred all the way in biblical times. This idea of making your own plans and excluding God, but winning his blessing. Once you open your Bibles to James chapter 4 James, the Lord's brother wrote this epistle is a very can confrontational epistle he wrote to Jews who were believers in Jesus were part of the DS for the DS four was those were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. In chapter 4 I James doesn't mince any words at all. He goes right after them, to say the very least he's talking about their worldliness and what God thinks of it. So he begins the chapter and he says what is the source of your quarrels and conflicts among you is not the source. He said your pleasures that wage war in your members you lost, you don't have to commit murder your enemies, and do not obtain, so you fight and quarrel. He says you do not have because you do not ask, and you ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives you want to spend it on yourself now uses a little bit of hyperbole that I don't think he's accusing them actually murdering a lot of anger a lot of fighting a lot of quarrels. He said this is all part of who you are, any sitting you don't even know how to pray. You pray for you, for your own pleasures. Now this be honest any of us do that many times this me are I come up in my prayer. He said that's the long motive in prayer person designed to glorify God. Just like our lives are. He then says you adulteresses that's about as confrontational as you get you not know that friendship with the world is hostility to God. Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James, in your whole perspective of life makes you an enemy of God. When you think you are not pieces. Do you think that the Scripture speaks with no purpose.
He jealously desires the Spirit which he has made to dwell in us, but he gives a greater grace and then he said something insightful. Therefore, it says God is opposing the proud, and he gives grace to the humble motive of all the sins and the motive excluding God from your plans is your pride. That's the sin that's what exactly says what do you understand how opposed to the proud I am in fact if you look in the Bible. That's what the Bible is the Bible is a story of God opposing the pride of Satan and the pride of man and we get to the end times and you get to the very end of the whole story. He puts pride down finally and forever. That's how important it is to God. He goes on. He says here's the solution is to submit therefore to God. Resist the devil, who flee from you. Draw near to God, he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, purify your heart, you double minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep and let your laughter be turned in the morning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of Lauren Hill exalt you to solution is interesting when you look at this he says submit resist draw near, be miserable and mourn over your sin.
Humble yourselves before God.
He said that's how long you are now you get under 13, 11 and 12, he talks about don't judge each other and 13 we come to the text come now, you who say today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year and engage in business and make a profit during adverse I'm guessing is that offender will present this on my business.
What's wrong with any of that first. Well that's what they're saying.
Suddenly there's a context here. By the way, these are Jewish believers but other also Jewish merchants there very very good at making money. They have always been as a people.
Very good at making money and are taking advantage of this. The context is the Roman Empire with the Roman Empire would do it. It set up cities and towns within the Empire. They would make the key population patriots of Rome, then they would invite merchants to come in to do business in the given incentives if they do business sounds just like a lot of American cities where American states don't we try to lure business in the state only given incentives don't we say it's an advantage if you would come here and so that's what the Romans were doing so the Jew said this a great chance to make a lot of money.
This would be good for us so. Notice how specific they were.
They say first of all, they said today or tomorrow. So that's pretty specific. We will go to such and such a city, a very particular place and spend a year with him in a one year effort and will engage in business and offer. The last reason and will make a profit. Were going to make money now, please understand here. This is all occurring in the context of the chapter where God says I hate the way your living. I hated because of adulteresses Tell them what they're doing is evil in God's eyes. He's talking about this. This religious person and at first when you look at it you think what what's really going on here then asked goes the next verse, and he says look I want to say something here. He said I want to give you two reasons why this perspective is so wrong.
The first reason we find in the first part of verse 14 he says, yet he says yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow anyone over the lifespan be like him is one of his reasons when you're saying what I meant to do is I'm going to go to a particular city, new business for year.
You see, and then they make a profit. This my plant that is nothing against plans. We'll see what he wants in the moment, but this whole point here is that Jesus don't you understand you have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. We don't is on a resolution assuming all the tomorrow don't you just assume that another here is what I do this think of what tomorrow might hold. If you were an American on December 7, 1941 I tomorrow go change anything you changed everything about 9/11 changing. You think anybody in the World Trade Center had their own resolutions and own goals. Assuming how they were acclimating this letter what was going to happen in their lives. They had all planned out and work that way.
Tomorrow you could get a diagnosis change your life forever tomorrow need to be in an accident tomorrow. You could be find that your companies downsizing and starting with you tomorrow using tomorrow.
He said you don't know anything about tomorrow. How can you make these resolutions that what you're planning to do when you don't know anything about tomorrow. Yeah, that's kind of the way we are is another thing that he says here that quite fascinating.
He says in the second part of the verse. He says you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then you vanish away you want to know what God thinks about your life.
Your vapor just the way it works. You and I have no control on the brevity of life happens over and over again and when you get the genesis for the great theme of that wonderful chapter is three words and he died and he died and he died and he died just goes on and on. Ever since the fall. That was the chapter that talks about our feet and he died this a timely year. By the way my my wife.
She doesn't like this part of the entertainment business, but she had to see it mentioned it to me. I was fortunate enough to miss it. This is the end of the year when they always tell you on TV all the celebrities a diagnostic notice that they discussed were celebrity at the celebrity after celebrity he died she died he died she died he died she died but think how many of us non-celebrities died this last a lot of people died in this church and I know you understand that that's what life is like you find this all the way through the Bible first Chronicles 29 Job 7 Job 9 Job 14 Psalm 39 Psalm 102, Psalm 103 all talking about the brevity of life.
Job said is faster than we were shuttle. That's the fastest thing ever so move his legs faster than David said uniting my life like just the width of my hand as life actually said we have no we have no understanding or no guarantees of how brief life can be and we think when you're young that's not brief when you're young you just keep thinking manage it way out there. You know I mean you got grandparents may be great, map way out there. The older your gut that I'm more you understand how short life is.
You see is just a vapor and it doesn't really matter. We think that if you really live a long time. It's great. It is in that sense, but it's brief this this concept that you have. He said it doesn't make a lot of sense and all hold your place and go with me to Luke chapter 12 but Jesus speak of this, Luke 12 verse 16 it says he told them a parable when he said this on land, the land of the rich man was very productive. That's how you measure wealth in those days, and he began reasoning to himself and he said that the what's the pronouns are what shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops in other words, I got more money than I know what to do.
It what what should I do then he said this is what I will do this is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones in there I will store all my grain and my goods and I will say to my soul soul. You have many goods laid up for many years to come.
Take your EZ drink and be merry. What is Jesus describing here the American dream. That's the American dream.
You just keep working. You keep investing. You keep saving you just keep going keep going and if you keep going to get enough then you can retire in splendor and then live out your golden years. Maybe, maybe not you have any control over notice, Jesus said, God said to him, you fool.
That's what got you know is not a fool.
He's a bright mayonnaise made a lot of money because as you fool. He said this very night your soul is required of you and now he says who will own what you spend your whole life accumulating a stuffer yourself that your plan and then your dead and then the kids and grandkids fight over to spend in Vegas and that's that minister's life and notice God because of a fool God's blessing is a full because of the way did business.
He's a full because he excluded God from all this I my I my I my this is what I've done. This is what might this is mine is you don't get it. You don't get it all. Those eyes in my in Isaiah when Isaiah is describing the fall of Satan.
He says five times. I will be like the most high. I will sit on the throne. I that's exactly what happens when you plan without God is sitting in your own throne your assuming things you can't possibly assume now back to James skip go to verse 16, first, he says, but as it is, you boast in your arrogance knows what God calls planning your future without God you boast in your arrogance. The word boast. By the way, is it an interesting word. It's how come I culture my in Greek it means to be loudmouth.
He said you boast in your arrogance.
I was only a is the word it means to wonder about our empty pretense boast in your empty pretense that what you're going to do.
He said, as it is, you boast in your arrogance know what all such boasting is evil. One amazing word for just describing some guys it said were just going to go to a city were going to do some business were gonna make money got its evil. In fact we talked about all the others in some chapter 4 through that verse. He doesn't call any of them as evil as he calls this how evil can you be, it's amazing.
It's the best work Polaris and Polaris is the word to describe the evil one which is Satan.
He said that's what you're boasting is evil, Lee, I had no idea you see it's all rooted in our pride and it affects all of us for all time. Sinatra sang a good my way and people love it and I I like this on myself.
But the point is, the message is extremely anti-Scripture my way and we applaud think about William Ernest Henley's tremendous poem in our culture called convict us. You know when I get to the end is what he wrote. He said out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul in the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced or cried aloud under the bludgeoning's of chance my head is bloodied but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate. The captain of my soul is exactly what's described which it is he for unbeliever. I understand it before believer in Christ there is no place for this whatsoever and is not new with me back to Isaiah 47 Isaiah 47 Isaiah wants to write about the great Babylonian Empire, the great Babylonian empire the greatest empire in the world. And guess what it said about itself, but Rome said about itself what all of us in every great civilization will say were unconquerable.
Nothing can stop us. There is no force on earth can stop us with the Babylonians so Isaiah 700 years before Christ. Starting in verse seven says this yet. You said I shall be clean forever. These things you did not consider. Now remember the outcome of you forgot something now been here this you central one, who dwell securely. Who says in your heart. I am, and there is no one beside me, I shall not sit as a widow nor he said no.
The loss of children, but these two things shall come on you suddenly one day loss of children and widowhood, they shall come upon you in full measure.
In spite of your many sorceries, in spite of the great power of your spells you felt secure in your wickedness, and said no one sees me your wisdom and your knowledge they have diluted you, for you have said in your heart.
I am, and there is no one besides me in the Babylonian Empire collapsed. This happens on the macro but evil in the micro we struggle with the same idea now is go back to James and the solutions very simple. It's just one little verse and it starts with the word instead in verse 15 instead, let me offer you the solution to this.
Instead, you ought to say if the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that, but we can use us as a cliché cow started at the Lord wills and okay love you and I get you have to believe this, I make no plans other than his see if the Lord wills becomes an extremely important thing member.
Christ the garden of Gethsemane. He knew exactly as planned. He knew what he was going then he had to face the idea being judged to sit on the cross by a holy God and he said father let this cup pass from me, but not my will, yours to see if the Lord wills, he said often. He should have come not to do my will but the will of him who sent me. You see, and for us as children of God. That's what you're saying. If the Lord wills see if the Lord wills. He says we will live and we would do this or that when I find interesting in this past week as I was reading in the book of acts, and in some, the Pauline epistles.
And every time Paul had a decision or choice he made. He always use these words every single church at Philippi. I like to come and visit you if the Lord wills ever something he wants to do is that I like to do this if God permits. In other words, if you live by that code. He made his plans but he never made any and without the exclusion of God.
If the Lord wills see if the Lord wills. That's the way this works in his point and by the way, to Ms. Holloway in his life the first time he was arrested and could've been beheaded, then he had total peace because his whole view was. I know you have the authority to execute me and you will if the Lord wills, but if he doesn't, you want and they didn't and he went out again. It's if the Lord wills see, these are my plans if the Lord wills. This becomes extremely important as I face a new year is my resolution for the year. I resolved that all my resolutions will have the words, if the Lord wills and if the Lord wills something else to about this I find interesting. Once I understand that the Lord wills. The most important thing. My resolutions are already made.
What we mean by that he speaks to me through this speaks to you just what he tells me in this way, wills see tells me what he wills. My resolutions right here there all of the commands of Scripture that I resolutions tells me anything I need to know what kind of pastoring had to be what kind of husband I had to be what kind of friend need to be looking to father and he tells me everything he said this is what you can. This is my will for you see, he tells me what I can want to not watch what my conversation should be in tells me almost in the blessing of it all is is that if I do all those who get shortchanged. I get what Jesus called the abundant life I get a great life. I do this is an easy thing you will have a great life but the Lord will in your life and it's more than that. It's not just that the Lord wills it, and then somehow you have to have the internal fortitude to figure out how to do it. If you think that you feel for sure it will be like all was a red resolutions fail, but in this case, he says, and by the way, I will give you the enablement to carry out my will.
That's why Paul said I can do all things through him who strengthens me. So God normally tells me what to do.
He gives me the power to do it. Those are resolutions worth keeping. See, that's the resolution was keeping if you keep those resolutions in the next year, I guarantee you from a spiritual point of view at the point of view of joy and peace and hope in your life to be the best kind of right where I started to follow Jesus Christ passable giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well Fellowship in the Word.
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