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December 4, 2020 7:00 am
Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-488-1888 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically.
As far as I know in the days of James Slade didn't have insurance companies will I called this study tonight how much insurance do I need because I think there's a parallel between our quest for insurance and our day on the kind of self seeking and self provision.
James describes in these verses listen to the insurance company that question how much insurance do I need is almost without an answer. It's almost a cliché in the insurance business that you can never have too much insurance, anything can happen. Why the factory and burn down the employees can be parked on your time and sue for enormous sums of money people can break into your home and destroy things. Why more insurance you have, the better because in the ultimate analysis your security come from that kind of insurance. Certainly this is the kind of image, the insurance companies want to protect project. I think for example of Allstate you see their ads on television those wonderful forehands that join one another and that indissoluble bond. Why wouldn't you like to be helped by a group of people who join hands rest in your defense you like to have as many hands as possible. Or there's the Sentry insurance company with its Minuteman why you'd like one of those fight off an amazing fact. You'd be glad to have the whole militia especially be glad to have the militia if for the Hartford company comes around with its else because you're Minuteman could possibly get that animal off your lawn and the perhaps the best the best of all is that one that has as its symbol. The rock of Gibraltar. What could be more secure and more stable and that what James reminds the people to whom he's writing is all of this is an allusion. James was living today. I'm sure he wouldn't say give up your insurance policies there's a point at which they're useful and we need them, but he'd say luck if you think that your security comes from matter for anything else that you can do for yourself, humanly speaking, your very much deceived case he had in his day was that of the traveling merchants who thought that their security came from getting as rich as they possibly could. I had the ability they had the capital what they were going to do is travel from city to city and make more money in each one of their stops and eventually they'd return home is so much money they just be set for life.
Here's the way talks about it. James 413 now listen, you who say today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business make money.
He rebukes them for that and says why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
What is your life. You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. This is point speaking to people who trust in human security and he saying in effect, no matter how much insurance you have unreliable what you really need to do is turn your mind and your heart to God who alone is totally reliable. The picture he gives is of miss the fog, which seems when it's thick, so substantial and yet disappear so quickly assume as the sun is up, he says life is like that. If you can't even guarantee your life that which all people prize most highly. How can you guarantee anything that the future might hold. Certainly were to think at this point of the story told by our Lord Jesus Christ, of the man in his day, who thought he would provide for himself by building even bigger and greater barn seat had an abundant harvest.
He said look all store and I'll pack my Barnes full of merchandise and then I can sit back and take my ease and say what I have, to worry about where the future is concerned, and the Lord said of this man, thou fool you don't know that tonight your soul shall be required of the author of Proverbs said the same thing. Proverbs 27 verse one. He said don't boast about tomorrow, because you do not know what tomorrow may bring forth. Well, here we have this case very practical case, the James mentions these merchants. Of course we have them. Today we ourselves are caught up in this mentality, our world, encourages what is it about this particular attitude what's wrong we suggest a few things. First of all, here is a man and we have to see ourselves in this picture that time the soup quite foolishly, is living for the future and has no real regard for the present. I remember many things that I was taught by my parents as I was growing up in their home, but I think one thing that I always remember my mother saying and saying very effectively. Is this when you're young you're always looking to the future.
You're always thinking what the future will hold your always living for the future. She said don't forget that your life is now ever forget that your life is what you do now, what you see what you are here with, and so on, but stuck with me because while it's true that we certainly have an obligation in a certain sense to plan for the future were certainly required, especially in our culture to be diligent and provide for nobody else, at least for our family for our children was a sense in which the life that we live is now living the Lord Jesus Christ. Now if were not living the full Christian life. Now if were not blessed by God. Now for not being used by God in the lives of other people. Now was to say that our life will never be used by God in those areas. I'm not sure as I look at this case that that's particularly what James has in mind, but certainly it's something he could have in mind because what it say to people who think this way is that they're being foolish where life is concerned, in the extreme.
The second thing is wrong with these people that he mentions is that they are planning for the future.
Without a thought of God that's always foolish. That's is to be self deluded for the very reasons that he mentions.
As I said I have no doubt that a certain amount of planning is necessary planning that makes sense for Christian people is the kind of planning which takes God into account, but the kind of planning that says as these merchants did well tomorrow were going to go here and do that after that will do that and will take of our care of ourselves in that way and then we'll do something else but rather the kind of planning which says, what does God will see you raises the question in verse 15, saying instead you want to say if the Lord will we will live to do this and that certainly when you direct your attention to God with that kind of thought in mind, you think not only of the question of God prolonging life way in which God wants to prolong it and what he wants you to do with that life that is given.
I think that would have very tactical implications in many of our lives.
We really ask that question. One thing it would humble us, we would find ourselves recognizing the dependence that we do have upon God whether we acknowledge it or not. Life is a gift from God. God has given, and God can take away prosperity such as we have it is a gift of God. God is given, and God can take away we have any question about that. We only have to ask Joe, who was a prosperous man in his day, an upright man, a man who even gone testifies. See, my servant Joe is not a more righteous man, and he and all the earth against the moment had all of those things taken away, and even health itself only if we would begin to think in these terms, we find ourselves humble before God, and depending properly upon so there are several things wrong with his attitude when it's foolish. Second, itself deluding James with the kind of intensity that characterizes his book doesn't allow us to stop there, but goes on to say it's not only self deluding.
It is in because this is the way the passage concludes, as it is. He says boast and brag.
All such boasting is evil.
Anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it since say in the ultimate analysis that is wrong. That is what is wrong with the attitude that says, I will provide for myself when that attitude excludes God forgets that God is the one who was provided in the one to whom we must look at the one upon whom our security ultimately depends what that really is kind of selfish strand self-aggrandizement that characterize Satan and sin in the extreme, and therefore as sin, something that needs to be repented of something for which we need to ask God's forgiveness asked this question. Here we have an attitude what's wrong something very practical, something that deals with the way we live.
If that's the wrong attitude. What's with the right attitude day the first answer to that is certainly seen in the verse I read where James says you want to say if it is the Lord's will, we will live to do this and that, say what he saying there is not that it's wrong to plan, but that before we plan to seek the will of God in the planning.
I'm sure that he would say if he were amplifying upon this at greater length, that if we do that. Undoubtedly, some of the plans which we had for ourselves before we sought the will of God will change convinced that in the Christian community, especially in the United States of America as we have it today.
We need to do some very rigorous thinking along these lines specially do we need to do it in terms of our vocation, the American ideal. After all, is simply prosperity material prosperity going from job to job and step to step up the ladder to success. As far as we can possibly go is that biblical that Christian is not the kind of life that spelled out before us in the gospel misunderstand me at this point I'm not saying that we are called to be mediocre as Christians. Certainly, if we are given talents to develop we should do the best possible thing we can do with those talents we should develop them to the full were to be a doctor.
We should be the best possible doctor. We can be were to be even in the insurance business. We should make the best possible insurance agent we can bill you for going to be a preacher to be the best possible preacher we can be, but there's a difference between doing the best we can do with what God is given in the area that he has placed us and that basic American idea that says what I have to do is work my way up as quickly as I possibly can for my own personal and I think it we would ask that kind of question, we find that in many cases we wouldn't take the best job that's offered to us.
In some cases we move out of the business were entered into another because were being asked to compromise the position that we hold some of us were talking about that in the car this afternoon.
In the case.
Kevin came up involving a young man who several weeks ago was facing. Precisely this kind of a decision.
We had a good job and he was happy and it even offered another job which was much much more lucrative and had all kinds of prestige and power money connected with it and he was troubled about taking the job just didn't seem to be the best thing that he should do as a Christian really did not want to do what he was seeking the will of God. He prayed about it and in the final analysis, the decision was made to decline the job was more lucrative. He told me about it it's morning see if we seek the Lord's will in these matters. We are going to end up doing things that are different than what the world would do in precisely the same situation. I'm not in a position to say.
In any case, what it is we stand as individuals before the Lord will answer to our master for ourselves. We have to answer to our master in order to do that. Well, we have to ask him what his will would be for us what we should do. We should go how we should use the talents of these given there's nothing wrong with that is clearly there is nothing wrong in taking the greatest possible talents that God is given balanced of an extraordinary nature and using them in very humble surroundings to bring the greatest measure of blessing to very simple people. I was a second thing that I think should characterize our attitude and that's implied our attitude should be characterized by a trust in God. Here I think back to the words of our Lord in the sermon on the mount with perhaps James had in mind as he was writing this section the sixth chapter of Matthew where the sermon on the Mount is recorded in part, our Lord is beginning to talk about worry is just talk about money he's made a sharp contrast between serving God and money. Very practical concern. He now turns to those who say well if I don't concern myself with money how my going to take care of myself. People will begin to worry. He begins to give a number of arguments in this section to show how they must trust God outline of the section very interesting versus 2534 three times over in these verses.
The word therefore occurs. King James Bible has therefore three times, once in verse 25. Once in verse 31 and the third time in verse 34 new international version translates. Therefore, in verse 31 has solved that the meaning is the same.
Therefore, don't worry or therefore don't worry or finally. Therefore, don't worry I when you have all those therefore she got a stop and ask what their therefore and when you do that you begin to see what the Lord is saying every time the word therefore occurs, it refers back to something that went before, and what comes before it is the reason for the conclusion that is given.
And since each of these three verses introduced by the word therefore say don't worry, what you have in the verses before them are three reasons why were not to worry, but instead are to trust God and here it is. First of all, in verse 34 is talking about this matter. The two masters. She says no one can serve two masters. You will either hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. So he says don't worry.
Trust God, see the argument. He says if you're concerned with providing for yourself if you're so concerned about the future. If you feel insecure if you think that all your attention has to be directed to accumulating material things laying up against tomorrow not loving God, you're not trusting God it's impossible to do the two together doesn't mean I have to repeat it again that a person can't trust God and go about his business do normal things in insurance business in a reasonable way all of that.
But the attention of the person has to be on God.
If you're worrying about these things, you're simply not trusting God because you can't do both of them at the same time know the little Christian cliché. If you're worrying you're not trusting if you're trusting you're not worrying may be a cliché but it's true in the Lord Jesus Christ is the author of it now verse 31. He says it again.
Don't worry in here reasoning given is what we have in the preceding verses. These talk about God's ability to provide for us. They referred to the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
Jesus says what God cares for all of these things obviously we can care for you. Very interesting the way his argument works at this point. The first reason he gives us a logical reason. He says think it out if you're worrying you're not trusting if you're trusting you're not wearing a can't be any other way use your mind. The second argument he gives appeals to our knowledge, he says just what about you all the things you know to be true God is made the world. God provides for the world birds are provided for the lilies are provided for all of these things. Doesn't it follow from what you can observe in nature that God is certainly able and will take care of you look at the world is made and we say yes he takes care the birds.
Yes he takes care of the lilies and yes he takes care of the animals and even takes care of the amps and the Beatles, but I don't think he could take care of me and the Lord says, and that a foolish way to think you were the peak of the created order are given a responsibility even where nature is concerned. And finally, in verse 34.
He has his final conclusion and the reasoning for that is in the verse right before seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. What kind of an argument is that all of the first argument is logical and the second argument has to do with knowledge. I would say that this argument has to do with experience and what he saying is this, if you don't believe it, try it, see if it doesn't work. Put God first and see if God doesn't provide for all these other things as well have to be perfectly honest and say that the way in which God provides for us when we trust in him is not always the way we would choose to provide for ourselves. Certainly not the way we would choose to provide for ourselves when were thinking along worldly line we'd like to provide for ourselves that we live in a mansion. We like to provide for ourselves of the millions in the bank account. It is very very rare when God provides for his people.
In that way. At any rate, I haven't observed them doing it very much of this particular congregation that doesn't mean that God doesn't provide you put God and his concerns. First, if you seek his righteousness if you make it your goal to live for him as one who is characterized by the life and character of Jesus Christ. God will provide for you in these other areas. I think I get the very end of this of the piece of the rock advertisements for the Prudential Insurance Company and wouldn't you like a piece of the rock. What could be more secure than to have a piece of the rock of Gibraltar.
Well, something more secure.
That's to be built upon the rock of ages, and one who has.
He says in Malachi changes not one who swears and stays by his promises, one who not only promises but is able to do what is promised and will surely do it now until the end of time.
Let us pray our father, we thank you for the security that is ours, the Lord Jesus Christ security which is built not upon the provision of men and women for themselves for the provision of our culture nor our state or whatever it may be that which is provided by you for those who are your people. We ask that you teach us what that really means practically grant that we might begin increasingly to make decisions that are based upon what seems wise in our own eyes the way you yourself lead putting your kingdom your righteousness. First, allowing you to add all the other things we need in your own way. We pray these things in the name of Christ our Lord. You are listening to the Bible study hour with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview.
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