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“What Is Your Life?”

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SIH STSTA ICON(SIH Ministries 5th Anniversary)

 Today is the 5th anniversary of Settled In Heaven Ministries.  Tomorrow, SIH will begin its 6th year of service to Christ, ministering Him to others.  Looking back over the past 5 years, I can see the grace of God being shown to the ministry every step of the way.

The desire of my heart is to praise and honor my Lord Jesus Christ for the many gracious blessings He has shown to my family, SIH, and myself, throughout the years.  Truly without Christ, SIH would not, and could not, bring praise to Christ in any way.

Anything that has been accomplished through the ministry of SIH is entirely of His grace, for which He deserves all the glory.  I am pointing out this anniversary to simply declare how good and wonderful the Lord has been to me, my wonderful wife and the ministry here.  I am blessed being imagination.

Now that a milestone in time has been reached, my tendency is to begin looking ahead and planning new outreach ministries for SIH.  Planning for the future and preparing for the times ahead, in and of itself, can be a very wise course of action for us all.  However, the act of planning ahead can also lead to pitfalls and shipwreck in our service to Him.

In this lesson I would like to remind myself, and perhaps you as well, of the importance of relying upon the leadership and the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives to enable us to   face, and successfully plan for, the times which lie ahead…

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jas 4:13-17 KJV –

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

THE STUDY:

Jas 4:13-17 KJV

 

Go to now,

First, James calls his listeners to “take action” on what he is about to say.  He is telling them to “Go do as I say!”

Why does James do this?  It is because he knows how important this issue is for our lives.  Making future plans without the consideration of the Lord, our need of Him, and His desires for our lives, will cause many, many Christians to fall by the wayside and become shipwrecked in our service to Him.  This is why James emphasizes the need to take action on this subject.

 

ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

James now identifies to whom he is speaking.  He is speaking to Christians who are making future plans for their lives in the following areas:

1.  “we will go into such a city” – the places they will enter into, the areas their lives will touch
(where they would live, work, worship and minister for Christ, vacation etc )
2.  “we will continue there a year” – the time frame of their actions and accomplishments
(when and how long they would do a specific act)
3.  “we will buy and sell and get gain” – the activities of their lives
(ministry for Christ, vocation, marriage, children, education, shopping, house work, etc)
As we look at this list, we can see that this basic list covers almost every aspect of our lives.

 

 

These Christians were trying to plan ahead and be prepared for the future, however, they had forgotten one the most important aspect of their plans… the sovereignty and will of God….

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.

Why is planning for the future a vain pursuit when the Lord is left out of the plans?  The Lord alone knows what tomorrow will bring for us.  All the planning in the world can be undone in one fleeting instant when an unplanned event enters into our lives.  A car accident, sickness, death, loss of employment, natural disaster or other tragedy can quickly unravel all of our plans for the future.

How foolish it is for us to plan for the future without recognizing the Lord is in control of our future.

 

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James, now directs our attention to one example of an area of life that is under the Lord’s control… the length of our lives.  Stop and think about it.  Out life is just like a vapor that appears and then very quickly vanishes away, many times without any prior notice.

How can anyone be so prideful as to make plans for the future when they cannot know for certain that they will even be alive tomorrow?   This is the point that James is making for us all.

 

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

However, we must include the Lord’s will into our plans, and submit to Him as the Ultimate Controller of the events of our lives (past, present, and future).   When we make our future plans we make them with an attitude that recognizes that our plans can change at any moment based upon the Lord’s workings in our lives.

So, it is just as James tells us… “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that“

 

 

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Instead of planning their futures by possessing humble spirits of reliance upon the Lord in the midst of the planning process, these Christians were making plans with an attitude of self-importance.  They were thinking their plans will most certainly take place, because they are in control of the future events of their lives, or wise enough to think of every possible event that would take place in the days to come.

This was a lack of faith, clearly boasting of pride, self-importance, and superiority.  In other words, it was attitude that was wicked in the eyes of God, basically placing their selves in God’s place and becoming guilty of idolatry.  How can this be idolatry?  They became their own idols as they attributed to themselves abilities that only belonged to their God.

 

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

These Christians had now been taught the truth and given a grave responsibility… make all their future plans humbly with attention given to the sovereignty of God and His future will for their lives.

Prior to this, being ignorant of their sin, they were not convicted by their conscience nor the Holy Spirit.   Although they were committing sin it was being done in ignorance with no conviction or discipline being handed down by the Lord.

But now, they were now aware of the evil attitude in their lives.  To them, their attitudes were now had become sinful. In other words…

to him (the Christian with sinful attitudes) it (the prideful attitude) is (now recognized as) sin.

 

“him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not”…

They had been warned. If they chose to ignore this warning, and continue on this path, they would now be left to the work of their conscience and the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

They would now become increasingly aware of their sinful attitudes and bear a growing burden for their willful rebellion against God.  They could expect their guilt to only intensify and God’s chastening hand to be active upon them.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

Folks, may we all make the Lord the center of all our future plans.  He is the Only One who knows what tomorrow holds.  He is the Only One that is control of every situation that comes our way.  Understanding this, how can we begin to ignore Him and keep Him out of our plans?

Pro 3:5-8 KJV

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

I would just like to thank all of you who have so faithfully taken part in the ministries here at SIH…. Thanks to the followers, commenters, likers, visitors, readers, rebloggers and social site sharers.  Believe me, you all have been a great human encouragement as we have sought to faithfully post on a daily basis.

Also, please be in prayer for the ministries here at SIH.  By God’s grace, over the years we have tried to be constantly adding to our ministries in an attempt to reach the most number of people with His Word.

 

To date, in addition to our internet homepage ( http://www.settledinheaven.org/ ), Settled In Heaven can be found on the following websites:

WordPress (https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/ )

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/SettledInHeaven )

 

Also, you can follow SIH on the following social sites:

FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/settledinheaven )

Google+ (https://plus.google.com/109554571051856737762/ )

Twitter (https://twitter.com/settledinheaven )

Tumblr (http://settledinheaven.tumblr.com/ )

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/robbarkman/47/819/4a4 )

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/settledinheaven/ )

GodInterest (http://godinterest.com/profile/136480 )

 

Lord willing, within the next year, SIH will be greatly expanding our ministries on:

GodTube (http://www.godtube.com/settledinheaven/ )

LiveJournal (http://settledinheaven.livejournal.com/ )

 


17 Comments

  1. Many blessings are asked for you and your thoughtful ministry.

  2. bring bread says:

    Thank you for your faithfulness in sharing Christ! The darkness keeps getting darker, but darkenss only makes The Light shine brighter! Many blessings!

  3. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Congrats SIH! God bless you and yours Rob!

  4. The True Light! says:

    Congratulations to you Rob!

    ~Steve

  5. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow congrats Rob on 5 years! I’m going to retweet this!

  6. Bless you for bringing the gospel to us in such depth and life changing encouragement. Happy 5 years…go, go, go!!! ~Zoey

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thanks for the kind words Zoey. Yeh, I am trusting the lord to continue to go go go, but sometimes I feel like my go go go got up and went went went! Oh my… Lord bless you my friend. Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. Congrats Pastor Rob, You have been a most awesome teacher of His word for me. You are also moving so fast or I am sooooooo slow reading. I figured out how to view your youtube site, when I got behind in Revelations 10. Just so you know I am still studying your word at youtube. 🙂 even if you don’t see “likes” here.
    Hip Hip Hooray! Keep the Word going out!
    Shelia

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Sheila,

      Yeh, I know I have gone fast, but the series will take more than a year when it comes to conclusion. There are others who said they are getting weary of the Revelation study. So I have tried to go as quickly as I can and yet still cover all the information on the visions that I can. By the way, when the series is finished I will be putting a free pdf book out on the website that will include all the lessons from the series. You will be able to download and go through the lessons at whatever speed you would like. I’ll put a posting up when the Revelation series is finished announcing the book and giving the link to download it. Lord bless you my friend. Thanks for hanging in with this LONG study.

      • I’m not complaining sir. I’m just slow. Do it in God’s time that he gives you. Amen. Hee hee, I’ve been printing them out to share with others.

        • Rob Barkman says:

          Sheila,

          Never crossed my mind you were complaining… I just wanted to explain myself for your benefit and the others who will are following the same series and thinking along the same lines as you! Lord bless! (By the way thank you so much for distributing this series to others… I trust they will be blessed.)

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