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January 4, 2021 7:05 am
Last year's wild ride will undoubtedly produce an abundance of books and movie your behind is played out like a sensational novel each month like 12 page turning chapters in the bestseller and build a storyline. None of us are coming today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll turns to the New Testament book of James. Your wise counsel. Our goal is to forget what lies behind and to prepare for the inevitable surprises ahead. James chapter 4 teaches us that the key to surviving 2021 is relinquishing control and check title. Today's message here something worth remembering. I hope you will say to yourself each week through the next number of weeks this year. I am not in charge just five words, easy to remember. Hard to practice to begin with. I'm not in charge of others. Verses 11 through 12 talk about that when I try to take charge of others.
Wonder why do well I speak against them, and I judge them.
James addresses both look at it. Verse 11 do not speak evil against or criticize, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other your criticizing and judging God's law is not your call.
Only he knows everything only he knows all the facts. Second, as I said earlier, we ignore our own faults and failures. And third, I will add we assault our love relationship. When we do that so for this year. Let's you and me, agree since you and I are not in charge of others.
Let's agree that we will not operate as though we are and will stop putting people down and judging the second reminder if you were not even in charge of ourselves. Verses 13 to 16 care. James begins this 13 verse and in this 13th verse he puts his finger on five things an individual does who attempts to control his own life or her own life. Number one look at how he puts it, you say today or tomorrow.
So we began by setting our own hard and fast schedule. He's talking about an individual who declares or sets in concrete hard and fast. This will be my schedule today or tomorrow. Remember that word tomorrow I'll get back to it look further in verse 13 we are going to a certain town so the second an individual does when he thinks he controls his or her own life. We declare our own destination. That is where we will be. That is where we will move that is where we are going we are going to a certain town.
Notice how it's written and will stay there right here for we determine our own limits to be there. You that's the plan is what I want is what I plan that's what I'm going to do. We will stay there year.
Fourth, we arrange our own agenda.
We will do business there is the plan.
My plan on going to do that we will do business there, and notice he wraps it up with and will make a profit.
We predict our own outcome when we were in charge. That's what were going to do nothing to be the result. See, this is mistaken confidence is presumption because I am not in charge. I have no right to do those things. In fact, he really doesn't begin in verse 14. Look at the question, how do you know what your life will be like tomorrow.
Your Bible probably reads you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You don't want to come see you tomorrow. Three words fit.
I don't know. That's why I am not in charge only one knows only one that's what he's in charge. Lord, you're in charge. This is your day. Thank you for allowing me to live it was yours. Got your name written all over it. I wanted to be for your glory. I will be involved in anything that you don't want.
So stop me, turn me reverse my plan C we are because were mere humans. We have no idea what the future includes a root intrusion changes everything. That's why one of the most uneasy words in our language for us to deal with is unexpected tomorrow. Has that word written all over it. How could you know what to expect until you have lived it is a good analogy look closely. Your life is like the morning fog like a mist since one of the renderings is life on this earth. Believe me, hear me, more importantly here. This your life is like the morning fog. Here a little while who's gone, you ought to say if the Lord wants us to.
We will live and do this or that. What else does that mean if the Lord wants us to. I'm planning on it but it's all written in pencil with the big eraser. That's how we live our lives all for his glory all for his pleasure. Otherwise, he says if you don't live like that. Verse 16 you're boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil that you're boasting about your own plan that's evil so that's his don't do that. Don't do that.
Ever. Through this new year and then at the end of the passage is a Stinger when you play in a band and you play Martinez that March usually will end with one note is called a Stinger just one quick staccato. The band gets it in the end the march is over. This is a Stinger in this passage begins with whatever remember remember what will it is soon to know what you ought to do and then not do it. I am not good at touch that, except to say it means exactly what it says you have heard what we need to do a whole year of not putting people down a whole year of giving God the credit, the glory and full reign of our lives on hold. Here a pleasing him, not ourselves.
I know that but when I come to that date in my day timer that I've marked with my ballpoint pen and I realize that's not gonna happen. I agree that is a Lord you you had your way here all X that day out. My plan because you've got your right to do what you wish Horatio both are put it this way if I will not mind.
Oh Lord, however dark it be leave me by thine own hand. Choose out the path for me. I dare not choose my lot.
I would not if I might choose thou for me, my God, so shall I walk right. Choose thou for me, my friends, my sickness or my health choose thou my cares for me.
My poverty or my well not mind not mind the choice in things, both great or small, B thou, my Lord, my love, my wisdom and my all.
I saved the story for the end of this message.
I didn't have time to give in the first service but will read the story to you illustrates the value of speaking well of one another, doing what is right just sit there and listen. I want you to hear this story. It's that valuable.
He was in the third grade class I taught at St. Mary's school in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me but Mark Eklund was one in a million very neat in appearance. He had that happy to be alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievous this delightful Mark also talked incessantly. I tried to remind him again and again talking without permission is not acceptable.
What impressed me so much, though, was the sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving.
Thank you for correcting me sister.
He would say I didn't know what to make of it at first but before long I became accustomed to hearing hearing those words many times a day. Thank you for correcting me sister. One morning my patients was growing thin. When Mark talked once too often. I made a novice teachers. Mistake.
I looked at Mark and said if you say one more word. I'm going to take your mouth shut. It wasn't 10 seconds later when Chuck blurted out, Mark is talking again I had mask any of its students to help me watch Mark. Here it is.
We take charge of others live seated, but Chuck and said that, and since I had stated the punishment in front of the class. I had to act on it.
I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning I walked about desk very deliberately opened the drawer and took out a roll of masking tape without saying a word. I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and make a big X with them over his mouth, then returned to the front room to the front of the room as I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing. He winked at me. That did it. I started laughing the entire class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk and remove the tape and shrug my shoulders. His first words were, thank you for correcting me teacher sweet story at the end of the year I was asked to teach junior high math. The years flew by and before I knew it, Mark was in my classroom again. He was now more handsome than ever and just as polite since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the new math he did not talk as much in ninth grade. One Friday. Things just didn't feel right.
We worked hard on a new concept all week and I since the students were growing frustrated with them, with themselves as well and edgy with one another.
I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand so I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name that I told him to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class. To finish the assignment but as the students left the room. Each one handed me the paper. Chuck smiled.
Mark said to me. Thank you for teaching me sister have a good weekend. That Saturday I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper and I listed what everyone had said about that individual. The following Monday I gave each student his or her list some of them ran two pages. Before long the entire class was smiling. I overheard really is one whispered.
I never knew that meant anything anyone. Another I did I didn't know others like me so much.
No one ever mention those papers in class again. I never knew if they discuss them after class or with her parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise have accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and with one another again. That group of students moved on. Several years after. Several years later after I returned from a vacation. My parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home. Mother asked the usual questions about the trip how the weather was my experiences in general. There was a slight lull in the conversation. Mother gave dad a sideways glance and simply said that my father cleared his throat. The Eklund's called last night. He began really. I said I haven't heard from from them for several years. I wonder how Mark is dad responded quietly. Mark was killed in Vietnam. He said the funeral is tomorrow and his parents would like it if you could attend to this day I can still point to the exact spot on I 494 were dad told me about Mark. I had never seen a servicemen in the military coffin before wearing his uniform. Mark looks so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was Mark I would give all the masking tape in the world. If only you could talk to me now. The church was packed with Mark's friends Chuck's sister, saying the battle hymn of the Republic what it have to rain on the day of the funeral was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers in the bugler played taps one by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin. I was the last one.
As I stood there, one of the soldiers who had acted as a pallbearer came up to me were you Mark's math teacher. He asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. He said Mark talked about you a lot at the funeral. Most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. We want to show you something. His father said taking a wallet out of his pocket. They found this on the mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it. Opening the billfold he carefully remove the two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. Thank you so much for doing that. Mark's mother said as you can see Mark treasured Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Chuck smiled rather sheepishly and said I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home.
John's wife said. John asked me to put his and our wedding album.
I have mine to Marilyn said it, it's in my diary.
Then Vicki another classmate reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. I carry this with me at all times. Vicki said without batting an eyelash. I think we have all saved our lists numbers when I finally sat down and cried and cried. I cried for Mark and for all of his friends who would never see him again in this new year. Let's build one another up let's stop putting them down.
You may even writing. Note that tells them how much you think of them. They will treasure it for life and never forget. We are not in charge as you bow your head with me, you hardly need anything more said it's possible that you've just come to realize what a mess. You have made of things because you have tried to conduct all the affairs of your life is though urine charge and you realize now you aren't. And the reason it's a mess is because you you can't fight against God. Jesus died to give you a reason for living to free you from the control of sin over your life to help you do what you know is right and you will never be able to do it without Jesus in your life so taken now. Don't resist. You've resisted all this time. Stop resisting.
Say yes to him, given the controls invite him to come in and he will take charge. Thank you dear Lord for teachers like that.
Thank you for those who help shape our lives.
Thank you for friends who love us in spite of our failures in and those things we've done that needed to be forgiven. Thank you for good parents, thank you for homes where we were loved. Thank you for this day the first day of the rest of our life's in this new year waiting to be lived. Take charge, we will back off and give you the control.
In Jesus name I pray all God's people said a man listening to Insight for living. Today's message is titled here something worth remembering to learn more about this ministry.
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My faith has been shaken and tested. I just got divorced. I try my best to learn how to forgive and keep my faith your words keep me in the light of Jesus and I'm trying my best to do the same for my children I get afraid at times, but when I feel doubtful. And I hear your sermons. I get hopeful when notes like this inspire us to continue providing Chuck's Bible teaching and if you're among those who have financially supported Insight for living ministries. We want you to know that your investment is making an impact. We are especially grateful for our monthly companions. Anyone who is given a donation to reach men and women like this listener.
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The preceding message is something worth remembering sound recording read in 2020 by Charles Swindoll. All rights are reserved. One duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited