Daily Archives: May 26, 2021

Evening Prayer: May 26th

Gracious God, I thank you for the ability and boldness to claim all that you have promised. Thank you for miracles seen and unseen. On this day, I give you praise. Help me to receive and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Remind me that I stand for a higher cause and that I need not let the sins and evil of this world overwhelm me. Help me to walk steadfastly in your ways, wavering neither to the left or to the right. Help me to know that you promised that following you would not be popular. We now live in a day where we truly are picking up a cross and following you. For the misuse of freedom today, forgive me. For the choices I must make tomorrow, prepare me. Now receive me into sleep. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 49:7-11

Psalm 49:7-11 (ESV)

Truly no man can ransom another,
    or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
    and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
    and never see the pit.

10 For he sees that even the wise die;
    the fool and the stupid alike must perish
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,
    their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they called lands by their own names.

Thoughts to Ponder from James 4:13-17


James 4:13-17 (ESV)

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

“If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that” (James 4:15)

Three churchgoers heard this passage from James 4 read during worship. The first thought, “Well, if I’m only supposed to do God’s will, I suppose I should pray more so that I can discover what he wants for me.” So he stayed kneeling at the end of worship until he felt God might be happy for him to stand up and walk out. Then, outside the church, he prayed until he felt it was okay to drive home, and so on for the rest of the day.

The second spent the rest of her day worried that God would suddenly decide that her time was up, that she would no longer “live to do this or that.”

The third fared no better. He spent the day lounging in his armchair instead of going on that lunch date with his wife and attending the church council meeting that was planned for that day. “I guess that’s what it looks like to trust all those things to God instead, right?” he thought.

It’s easy to laugh at these extreme examples of misunderstanding James’ words. We assume that he is addressing an attitude of presumptuousness – some of his readers seemed to be making plans “doing this or that” without paying attention to the spiritual ramifications of their actions. We know that God doesn’t want us to legalistic or fearful or apathetic – but how should we react to this passage?

Perhaps it’s helpful to look at the sentence in reverse: we live to do this or that because the Lord wills it. This should reframe the outcome. Thinking this way reminds you that every moment of your life is a gift, held in place by God, and the right response is to be thankful. The remedy for presumptuousness is not the fear that you’ll unwittingly disappoint and disobey God. It’s humility and gratitude.

Let gratitude take root in your heart today. Give thanks for the challenges that God has allowed you to go through. They have helped make you who you are. Give thanks too for the present moment, which is also filled with God’s presence. And give thanks for a future you can be hopeful about, because your heavenly Father holds your whole life – including your future – in his hands!

Lord, thank you for the generosity of your will. Amen.