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.
James’s first readers, we strive to be self-sufficient and to develop detailed plans for our lives. Planning can be good stewardship, but not if our plans crowd out the things God would have us do. James reminds us to seek what “the Lord wills.”
This simple statement is a confession of faith and shows confidence in the Lord’s care for us. Time and again, He has shown His fatherly, divine goodness and mercy toward us. He has given us life by His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, freed from seeking our
own needs, we serve others.
I pray: Thank You, Lord, for the gift of each day. Help me to see each one as guided by Your care and lived for Your glory. Through me, bless
my family, my co-workers and neighbors, and all the world. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2142.