Come now you who say today or tomorrow? We will go into such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit yet. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life for you? I missed appears for a little time and then vanishes instead you ought to say if the Lord Wills he will live and do that and do this or that as it is you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it for him. It is sin. Thank you hail. Hell was reading James chapter 4 1317 because that's where we're going to be today. And so I would ask you if you would please take your Bibles and turn to James Chapter 4 verses 13 to 17. And as a congregation on Sunday morning for a couple months and we've been looking at it we've been asking ourselves. How is it that we can actively engage in our faith as Christians? How is it that we can fight for the things that God says to Marcus as the people of God and this morning we're going to look at something we're going to say we want to fight presumption. Now presumption is not one of those words that we use all the time, but I trust that you guys understand what it is presumption is when we Presume something that ought not to be presumed right when we think something that we ought not to be thinking especially as regards the future, especially as regards what our course our life is going to take now how you guys know me if you've been here for a while, you know that I'm the pastor here, you know that I I preach the word and that's that's what you guys have called me to that's what God has called me to do is to be a proclaimer of the Gospel in one who trains and equips others with that. My life could have taken a very different course. However, right growing up my ambition. My plan was to be a marine biologist. All right. Yes, that is strange most kids like firefighter policeman something like that. No, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to live on the Oregon coast and study cephalopod migration for the rest of my life.
Clearly that did not work out. How did I get from wanting to live on the Oregon coast to living in the deserts of Southern, Utah? Math math apparently to be a scientist you have to be able to do math that was not going to happen in my life. And this whole grand plan that I had created in my head. I'm being a marine biologist ran up against the fact that I'm really bad at some of the basic elements of science numbers. Okay. And so I failed to take into account all of the things as I was making my plans anybody else want to add identify with that anybody else had your plans run up against the hard reality of what you are or what you are not ya been there. Right but this is particularly important for us right instead of presuming to be able to chart the course of Our Lives to be able to control everything that's going to happen as Christians. It is particularly important for us to recognize. Hey when we make plans when we look at the future and what God is going to do in a We have to take a lot more into account. Then just a little bit that we can see and we need to fight against presumption when we make our plans in that passage that hail just read it says exactly that in verse 13. It says come now you who say today or tomorrow will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit. Write James as we read that passage James clearly is setting up a contrast. He's saying don't say verse 13. Now. What is it that James is taking exception to here. He's not taking exception to the fact that you would make a plan right very clearly. We see that that inverse 15. It's okay to make plans. He's not taking an exception to move in between towns, right? That's not the point at which you would draw and say, oh don't do this. It's it's not even about how long you're going to be there is not even about making a profit does none of those are bad. James is not calling out his audience and that's what he's doing when he says come now you who are very strong way of saying but stop this knock it off. Alright, he's not saying quit making plans. He's not saying just let life come to you knit by minutes and just kind of react to it. Is very clear throughout his word that he wants his people to plan. He's very clear that he wants us to be wise with regard to the Future right? So, how do we make plans? As Christians, how do we do this? Then if the problem is not making plans and that James is saying hold on. There's something wrong with how you're making plans. What is it that we're leaving out? I need this too often too often. We leave out God. Too often we leave out God and how he's wired us. Too often, we forget some vital piece of information as we make our plans, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't plan we should and so this morning what I want us to do as we look at James chapter 4 is I want us to come away. Making better plans. I don't want us to be a church. I don't want you to be a Christian who just kind of rolls with the punches who does not take any thoughts for the future who does not try to make their life matter and me and something but I want and I want you to do that in a Christ honoring way. So let's look at what James has to say about how we make plans as Christian soap. Look at verse 14, right? So he just said come now you say we're going to go do this this and this yet. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a Mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Change this here. Here's the reason why you need to take care to make your plans. Rightly. Here's the reason why you can't leave God out of your planning because you're Not in control. You don't know the future. You don't know what's coming, you who say this? You don't know what tomorrow will bring. You make all these plans, but you have no idea what tomorrow looks like.
You don't know what's coming, but God does. Make your plans accordingly. You have to have if you're going to make plans as a Christian, you have to have a right view of the future. The future is something that I don't know what's coming. The future is something that God does know what's coming there for as I make my plans I'm going to do so knowing the uncertainty of my view of the future and knowing the certainty of God's promises for the future now I am I awesome talk about this like, I'm from Idaho. Let me give you guys a little bit of a dirty secret. I was actually born in Oregon. I just don't claim it's okay. Like I have my formative years were in Idaho, but I don't but I don't reject my Oregon birth. As a matter fact. I was super proud of the Babbling come from the place where the Oregon Trail went to write as a kid. How did you guys play the video game? The Oregon Trail video game like the best day at school was the day when the teacher was like, okay free time. You can go sit at the computer and play. This is the kit most the kids are gone. Seriously, this is going to kind of Miss. But I kids these days just don't understand the video games. We had to work with back then.
Like an actual imagination to imagine that little pixel dude walking around and those little pixels going against his crate. I get took it really imagining to imagine that to be a gun in a bullet and hunting and all of that how many of you died of dysentery
That's what always got me like everybody else to get a broken arm or something. I always died of dissing Terry Wright. I love the Oregon Trail of the game. I love going to Baker City, Oregon and visiting the Oregon Trail interpretive center. Now, if you've never been to Baker City, Oregon, you need to go check it out at some point because the Oregon Trail interpretive Center there at least through my twelve-year-old memory is the coolest place on Earth, right but there was always this character in all of the stories about the Oregon Trail that I was fascinated by I was fascinated not just with the families who would pack up everything and leave and go away from their family away from everything they'd known to this new place to land of promise, right? That was a cool part of that. If I wasn't just fascinated with that though. I was fascinated with the guys, right and a lot of wagon trains. They would set off they would hire a guide in what was a guide a guide with somebody who'd been over the trail before right? There's no paved roads. And there's just these wagons heading for Oregon, right? How do they know which way to go? This is a big country. It's a lot of space. There's a lot of obstacles in a lot of dangers between st. Louis and Oregon. All right. That's why everybody died on the Oregon Trail, but if you hired the right guy and somebody who knew what was coming you could avoid the worst of the dangers now God is better than any organ Trail Guide because he doesn't just know the dangers, right? He knows the destination. He doesn't just know the destination. He knows the ultimate end of every single atom in the universe.
We have to have a right view of the future. This is some place where I don't know what's coming, but God does and so when we make plans we make it with that understanding. Here's just some general advice. I won't call it investment advice. I don't want you to sue me or anything. Here's some general advice for looking at the future as a Christian. Don't risk anything. You don't mind losing on your own understanding of the future. Don't risk anything. You don't mind losing on your understanding of the future. You think the stock market's going to go up go for it. Don't put any money in that. If you don't mind losing cuz it could very well do the exact opposite of what you think it will but the second part of this be willing to risk everything on God's promise of the future.
Don't risk anything on your understanding of the future that you're not willing to lose but be really willing to risk everything on God's promise of the future. What is the promise that God has given us as Christians.
Did everything's going to be alright. That he is going to set to write everything that's broken in this world that there will be around the throne people from every tribe and every tongue and every nation worshipping the king of creation and he's promised that and so if you want to make a bunch of money in the stock market go for it. Don't risk anything. You're not willing to lose if you want to see God's promise fulfilled be willing to risk everything for that Jim Elliot a missionary back in the 50s in Ecuador, which coincidentally we have a partnership. They're going to be going to Ecuador later this year the Winfrey family there.
Jim Elliot was a missionary in Ecuador and he was speared to death by a tribe. He was trying to reach with the gospel. In his journal his diary he wrote he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Don't risk anything on your understanding of the future. The be willing to risk everything for God's promise of the future. So we have to have a right view of the future because it'll teach us to rely on God because he's the one who knows but more than that. There's more reasons that you should rely on. You shouldn't rely on God just cuz he knows the future you should rely on God because of what verse 15 says. instead you ought to say if the Lord Wills we will live and do this or that if the Lord Wills we will do this or that why does James say literally the only thing that distinguishes worldly plans from Godly plans the only difference well it decide for me to like robbing a bank or something like you can't make Godly plans to rob a bank. The only difference is the fact that you're saying this is up to God. Based on a right view of God. This is what I'm saying. If God Wills the first thing we need to understand about God the God. Who knows the future is that he is Sovereign God is Sovereign when I said earlier that he knows the end of every atom in the universe. I meant that
Remember, I don't do math. So I don't know how many atoms are in you and I
but God knows the end of every single one of those right God knows that he is Sovereign over all of that. He knows not just the future. He knows the past. He doesn't just know the future. He knows the present. He knows everything. He created everything the Bible tells us that he upholds all things by the word of his power. God is Sovereign this is good news Psalm 115:3. Our God is in the heavens. He does all that he pleases that's the best definition of sovereignty. In my mind, do you or I do what we please are we sovereign? No. If I could do everything that I please I would be able to fly. I would be able to breathe underwater. I would be able to do any number of things, but I can't. Because I'm not sovereign I can't do as I please. I'm constrained by the limits of my physical body. I'm constrained by the fact that my mind doesn't do certain things that I wanted to do. Right? I'm constrained everywhere. I turn I can't do as I please. I'm not just constrained by myself in my limitations. I'm constrained by the world around me right there are cops won't let me drive as fast as I want to drive. I can't do as I please. I am constrained. I'm not sovereign. God is in the heavens. He does all that. He pleases the number one thing you need to understand about the God that we worship as a congregation is that he is in control. Everything nothing escapes his control he is not constrained. Like I am like you are he is not limited by the world around him because he is outside of that world is over that world. He is Sovereign over it. He's not a sovereign he's good, which is really good when you when you define God's sovereignty is he does what he pleases it's going to be really important to follow that shortly after by the fact that he is good.
Adolf Hitler could pretty much do as he pleased in Nazi, Germany. But he was not good a dictator ruling lording over his people in a country is not limited. Like I am he's Sovereign over his sphere of influence.
but if they're not good nothing but destruction results God is Sovereign he can do as he pleases over that which is his every single atom in the universe, but he's also good This is the best news ever that The God Who is control of in control of the universe is also a good God and what he pleases will always be for good and the world that results. From his Sovereign care will be a good world. This is important Mark. 10:18. Jesus is speaking. It says why do you call me? Good? No one is good. Except God Alone every time a man or a woman tries to do whatever it is that they please every time they try to make themselves or to conform the world to their image of what ought to be death destruction evil results, but God is good. He's the only one good. So he's the only one we would want as sovereign. This is the only plan for the universe that we would ever want to see come to fruition because he's good and that goodness. Is a loving goodness 1st John 4:8. If anyone does not know anyone who does not know love does not know God because God is love. this is this is really really important to God's goodness
Is not abstract God's goodness is not just a good idea some Ivory Tower concept. It is a loving goodness. His sovereignty is expressed in his goodness, but also in his love and that love has a very specific object. For God so loved the world. I didn't put this on the screen cuz I think you probably know for God so loved the world.
you me we together are the objects of God's love The Sovereign God. The good God is a God who loves us and his goodness is not just for the universe. It's for you and for me.
God is love. He's righteous as well. And sometimes we need to balance this his goodness is expressed in love. His goodness is also expressed in righteousness.
While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He loved us. But he didn't Overlook the fact that we were Sinners he was righteous. He's been righteous all along Psalm 145:17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his Works. He is righteousness. If you want to know what righteousness is what that which is right, it's God. It's defined by God. He is righteous. That means though that when we deviate from what he has declared to us, we are sinners remember he's loving and he's good and its sovereignty is expressed in the fact that even though we are sinners his love brings you to the Cross is love brings him to the point of redeeming us. And offering us righteousness as well. He Sovereign he's good. He's love. He's righteous. We could literally spend every single waking hour that we have as people contemplating the extent of God's character. But there's one more truth about God it will inform your plans. He's coming back. The Sovereign One the good one the loving one the righteous one is coming back Titus 2:13. We are waiting for our blessed. Hope the curing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 as we are making plans we have to have a right view of the future because we need to rely on God. We need to rely on God because he is Sovereign he's good. He's loving his righteous and he's coming back. My kids I love my kids. My kids sometimes require my presence to do what I tell them to do parents. Can you testify to this go clean your room seems to carry much less weight than clean your room while I stand here and watch you do it.
We sometimes forget this part. Yes. God is Sovereign. Yes. God is good. Yes. God is loving God is righteous, but you seem so far away. As we're making plans we need to remember he's coming back. He told us go clean your room and he's going to show up and see if we cleaned our room. It's a God didn't tell us to clean our room, Diddy. No, he said go and make disciples of all Nations baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey all that. I have commanded you he's coming back to see whether or not we've been faithful to the tasso as we make our plans. We have a right view of the future. We need to have this right view of God and understand it he's coming back. In all of his righteousness and all of his love and all of his goodness and all of his sovereignty but he's coming back our plans need to recognize that. We also need to have the right to the Future the right view of God. We need to have a right view of ourselves as we make plans. Look at verse 14 and verse 16 yet. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a Mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. As it is you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil if we are going to make Godly play say what is it that we need to do we need to take into account. The fact that God is the one that knows it we need to take him to the account. The fact that God is good Sovereign loving righteous and he's coming back, but we also need to take into account. Ourselves we never write view of ourselves as we plan in the first thing that we see is we're not here for long. We're not here for long. Now the younger folks in the room. Don't believe me when I say that don't believe James when they read that we're going to live forever. No, you're not. No, we're not. Life is fleeting. Life is so short. Our plans need to take that into account you and I don't have time to waste on that which is frivolous on that. Which doesn't matter. There are insects that are born with no stomachs. You guys know this right? This is science no math science.
They're insects born with no stomachs. Literally, they don't have time to eat their life cycle is so short. The only thing that they try to do is reproduce before they die. That's it. We need to take into account some of that urgency.
Church Christian not to put too fine a point on it you exist to reproduce and I'm not just talking about what you think I'm talking about.
talking about making disciples you exist Christian to make disciples and you don't have long to do it. You're going to Blink and the old you're going to Blink again and be decrepit you're going to blank again in a while. You won't open your eyes.
This life is so short. James says you are a vapor right? You're like the Mist that rises in the morning and the second the sun's out is gone.
You don't have much time to do the thing for which God has created you in Christ. You don't have much time to exercise the gifts. He's given you don't waste your time.
When when we had seniors graduate from high school, we gave a book out called Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. I'd encourage you to pick up a copy of that sometime and read it regardless of your age. We don't have long second Lee we're not in control. right Ami's comes out of nowhere and then it just vanishes. My dad used to make this statement. He's like if you want to know how important you are at your job. If you want to know how important you are in life stick your finger in a bucket of water then pull your finger out whatever hole is left. That's how important you are.
We're here for a very short time and we don't have control. So we're going to have to make it count. Whatever we do has to be focused. It has to be. quick and it has to be humble This is what he says in verse 16 as it is you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil if you're not here for long and you're not in control then why in the world would you take any credit for what God might do through you. If you're the mess that just comes out of nowhere and goes back into nowhere. With about as much a fact why would you boast and say look what I've done? How many of you read the poem Ozymandias two guys know this good if you haven't read it, you should read it. Basically this this guy is wandering through this desert landscape and it comes across a statue to the great Ozymandias whose reign will never end and yet it's just a ruin there in the sand time wins. You're not here for long. You're not in control. So don't boast about anything that happens. Don't boast about your plan. That's what he saying. Don't presume to know the future. Don't presume to be able to say what's going to happen. We're going to go here. We're going to live here. We're going to make a profit right don't imagine.
Which you can accomplish any of that. Rather you ought to say if the Lord Wills we will live and we will do this or that a right view of ourselves will help us to make Godly plans the final thing. I want to say that we have to have a right view of his we have to have a right view of our purpose. I've I've hinted at it. I've alluded to it literally every single sermon I've ever preached at Red Hills. Has talked about this. your purpose
is not to make money. Your purpose is not to be comfortable. Your purpose is not to die in. Peace. Your purpose is to love God love others and make disciples. I'm so glad to hear some Whispers following along with me. So encouraging to know that after three years.
It's getting through.
Love God love others make disciples. The reason you live and breathe. The Reason God has placed you in southern Utah. The reason he has put you in this Fellowship.
Love God love others make disciples.
That's it. If you have a right view of your purpose what it is that God has made you to do. If you have a right view of yourself. a right view of God And a right view of the future you can make Godly plants instead of worldly plan. You have the tools to say Lord hears. If it's your will what I want my life to look like. Taking into account how it is that you've made me taking into account why it is that you saved me taking into account the fact that you are sovereign and good and loving and righteous and coming back taking into account the fact that I don't know the future but you do here's my plan Church. We're not called to be people who live without a plan. We are called to be people who live with a plan. So what now? What do you do with this? Well, I think that's going to kind of be different based on your life stage the what now for the use in the room might look different than it does for the grandparents what now? I'm sure that you used are tired of hearing this. What do you want to be when you grow up?
What are your plans right? I'm getting a lot of agreements from some of our youth right they get the same question, especially when they're graduating high school, right? Everybody asking what what's next? Right, but now as a Christian as a Christian Youth you have these tools and you can make plans according to this instead of saying what do I want to be when I grow up? Can I challenge you to ask a different question? I'm not actually going to give you the question you have to nod and say yes, I can challenge you with the question.
Ask what does God want me to do? Ask what is it that God would have me to be for the sake of us can take the focus off of yourself and well-meaning well-intentioned old people like me will always ask the same questions. Shift the focus and say it's not about what I want to do. What does God want me to do college students? You've made the decision. What am I going to be when I grow up I'm going to be whatever it is. I'm getting this degree in.
Let me challenge you to do something college students. You guys are a little more scattered out. You didn't sit all together like the youth did so I'm going to have to try to hunt hunt find you guys college students. Lord willing you will graduate from college what next? What will you do after that? I want you to write down a website every every college student in here's got a smartphone. I know it. K college students write down this website, and I want you to check it out. And if you have questions about I want you to talk to me www. . Go to years. Net Www.gov go to as a number years. Net. Here's the deal when you graduate from college everything to be like just get on with your career. Why don't you get on with your career and Advance the gospel at the same time in North America? There are about I don't know the exact number. There's like 30 cities that the North American Mission board an organization that we get to be part of it because we're Southern Baptist. It is committed to taking the gospel across North America Canada and United States. They have 30 cities that they've identified and said, we need church planting efforts here. If you college student go to that website and you're interested you want to do that. You can take two years find a job in that City in your chosen degree field get some experience. But they'll connect you with a church plant that you can be a part of helping grow. You can do that internationally to there are eight different people groups that the inv the international Mission board has identified and you can go do two years in their journeyman program. You can get paid for two years to go and spread the gospel where it's never been heard before. Go to years. Net now if you're over 30, that doesn't apply to you. So here's what I have to say to you those of you who are in that stage where you've kind of settled you might be Reinventing, but even so some of those Freedom some of those opportunities might be gone that might be because you got a spouse right? And you know how have somebody else that you're responsible for? You may have kids kids are an awesome Mission field. Parents have an amazing responsibility before God to disciple their kids and so parents. Here's my challenge to you. What plans are you making for your kids if your plans for your kids are I want them to be a sports Superstar and I'm going to give up all of our free time to make sure that they become the next guy who washes out and doesn't make the pros the next gal who never gets the scholarship that I thought she would Why put all your eggs in that basket instead parents safe? Can I raise my child? To fearlessly follow Christ to be willing to go. Can I give my kids the freedom that if the Lord says go to the mission field that I'll send them with rejoicing.
And not just because of all the pain and heartache and the difficulty that they were I will send my kids wherever God called them. I'm going to raise them to love Jesus more than they love me. I'm going to raise them. Just ask first. What is Christ calling you to instead of what do you want to do? If you're in that age bracket there and you've got kids your mission field is your kids. That doesn't mean you can't go on the mission field. That doesn't mean that you can't give your life to serving Christ and bring your kids along some of you don't have kids in that age. Ask yourself. How can my life be about what Christ wants not about what I want one final group that I'll mention retirees retirees. Now everybody in here is a retiree. But if you are I want to challenge something that your culture has told you way too many times. They've told you you've worked hard. You served your time your Coast enjoy sit back. Hang on as long as you can.
No, that is not a gospel vision for your retirement years. That is not a Godly plan. Make sure I've got enough money so I can be comfortable. A Godly vision for your retirement is this ask yourself this question. Am I leveraging my resources for my comforts? Or for the kingdom some of your retired you did really well. You were wise planning and financially your set are your finances geared towards you or geared towards the kingdom. Some of you don't have those resources, but you know what you do have is a retiree time. You may not have the energy. But you have the time. Use it for the kingdom. Use it for Christ. Not for yourself. So some of you slipped through the cracks some of you want to use some of you aren't parents. Some of you aren't retirees. I'm going to call as soon as I get that. Make plans with a right view the future a right view of God a right view of yourself and a right view of your purpose. Whatever those plans are. However, the Lord lead let him leave. He'll be all right this applies to us as a church. This applies to us as a church as well. And we've been making some plans right? We've been talking about some things as a church, right? And the Lord has been gracious to us and hang. He has willed for some of those to come about we paid off our debt. We are debt-free as a congregation. We no longer go on this building, but you know what, At some point we're going to have to ask ourselves about some plans for this building. Where do I have to ask ourselves about fixing a settling issue? How boring is that? Why would I take any time and a message to talk? Because this is where we is good stewart. Say Lord. It was your will to plant us here and eat it was your will to put us here in this building is a tool for your kingdom. How can we Stewart it? Well as the Lord Wills, how can we fix? How can we maintain how can we do the things that need to be doing? Some of you are wired to think in terms of building and grounds? I'm not.
The church needs you to say Lord. Your plan was to have this place now, how can we use it? How can we maintain it? How can we make it the best it can be? What about the fact that we are in Enoch? Here's a question that I've a started asking myself tomorrow every single member of Red Hills died in some freak accident. And the church closed down. And Red Hills did not exist anymore. What are Community even miss us? Woody Nick Be worse off. For the fact that we weren't here.
We should be blessing our community the very fact that we exist in this place ought to bless this place in Jeremiah. The people of God have been call the way they've been pulled away into exile. Jeremiah and Jeremiah 29:7 says pray for the Peace of the city in which I have sent you for as it prospers. You will prosper how is Red Hills contributing to the prospering of Enoch? I need to be a part of our discussion for the future as we plan for the future Lord as it's your will may we bless this community. May you give us a Ministries that meet the needs here may you allow us to build relationships hear that transform this place for the sake of your kingdom. We can't forget. This is what God has done. His place is here. We need to plan for that as the Lord Wills finally have talked about it the last 3 weeks Church Lansing, right? It's interesting and I've got the text of our resolution of the church up on the screen. If you could throw that up there. This was the resolution of the text that the members of the church voted on several weeks ago that starting now Red Hills will pursue church planting in both New Harmony and Enterprise until disciple-making churches are functioning there or the Lord clearly closes the door on our efforts. That was a commitment that we made together as the Lord Wills. We submitted to the Lord. We said God, you know the future we don't God you are in control. We're not Right. We are weak. We are fleeting there was a day when Red Hills was not there will be a day when Red Hills is not but Lord as it's your will we're going to pursue this. That was our commitment. That's what we're doing. And so when I say hey sign up for this if you're interested, please sign up for it if you're interested so that we can carry through and make some plans God honoring Christ promoting gospel preaching disciple making plans for New Harmony and Enterprise, but we got to do it together. We've got to do it submitted to the Lord. Let's do that. Church whether it's making plans for ourselves, whatever our stage of Life weather is making plans as a congregation as a group of Christ followers committed to obeying him together regardless, let's make plans. As the Lord Wills as he's directed not as we think best would you pray with me?