Tag Archives: Bible Study

Convert Those Who Err

James 5:19-20 KJV

19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

In conclusion of his letter, James gives us a challege that we all are called to filfull – the preaching of the gospel with emphasis on converting the fallen Christian, not the unbeliever!

This is a challenge we face more often than we like.  We see people fall into sin and wander away from God way too often. At least I know I do and it’s awful hard to decide exactly what to do in these situations. If we use the wrong words we can be accused of being judgemental and our words will not be listened to.  If we ignore them we could be placing them in danger of hell and we certainly don’t want to do that. Most often we just remain neutral and don’t do anything.

The word “err” here is also translated wander in other places, and we have looked at this word before.  It means to wander off the path.  Remember that Jesus said the path to heaven is straight and narrow and we need to stay on that path.

I have wondered off the path in my walk with Christ. I was so thankful for a pastor who would set my feet back on the path even if it took a hard word of Truth. I even had one pastor who kicked me out of his church and said I could never come back unless I went to Pure Life Ministries. If not for him I would never have gone there and I probably would never have overcome my pride problem. This problem led to so many sins in my life it was incredible. The truth of this passage of scripture is evident in what happened because of the words of that Pastor.

This pastor converted me from a life of full of hidden sin that was covered up by Pride. And because of that conversion God forgave me of a multitude of sins and set my feet back on the right path. And he showed me how my wife as my helpmate could assist me in overcoming that Pride. I will never be able to repay that Pastor. We have now settled in a different search but he is always on the top of my prayer list and we are friends even today.

But it does not need to be a pastor who does these things. We are called as Christians to help others when they are challenged in their life by shin. It is something we need to seriously pray about and ask God to help us with the gift of discernment when something is going on in someone’s life that is drawing them away from Christ. There are certain signs we can look for in a person to know how they are doing.

If they are missing church and used to be regular then something is probably going on. If they used to be ardent In worship and now they are half-hearted something has happened in their heart. If they come into the church and just sit in their seat when they used to circulate then there’s something behind the scenes that has cooled at zeal. I think these three things are the initial signs that someone is wandering off the path. The discernment of the Holy Spirit can help us see these things. We need to pray that the holy spirit will give us the right words when we are going to approach them. And then pray and we will not sound judgemental but loving in the words that we share with them.

To be honest I have not stepped out with this kind of faith in the past. It is a call on my life to do that and I need to step up. Not for my own sake but for the sake of those who are falling away. I must not let them go too far off the path towards Christ, but gently lead them back to the straight and narrow way. They will benefit greatly and I’ll be blessed in knowing a soul has been saved.

Our study in James is now complete, but I will do one more post to recap the highlights  we will then embark on a stidy in prayer that I first did in 1990 and was hoping to put into a book. I ran acrpsz2all the notes recently and this blog will form the basis for the book.  I ask for your honest assesment and comments throughout this study.

Be blessed 


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Pray or Praise

James 5:13 KJV

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

 

James present two different pictures in one verse, one of affliction and one of being merry.  In both cases, he also tells us how to respond to the condition we are in.  To me, both of the reactions he mentions would be natural reactions.  I am an inquisitive kind of guy after all!  So let’s break it down and try to figure out why James finds it necessary to bring out these two points in the midst of so many seemingly more important subjects.  I know – it look like simple truths, but I think there is more here than meets the eye.

First is any afflicted.  This is an intriguing word that from the Greek means experiencing painful hardship, or a malicious disposition or suffering evil.  This is very different from just being sick, a subject that will be dealt with in the coming verses.  James is talking about someone who is being influenced in a negative way by forces out of his control.  I am not talking about demonic influences necessarily, although this type of affliction would be included in James’ point here.   He is talking about hardships that come on us and seem to contradict our faith and make us doubt God can bring us out.

I believe James is discussing things like depression, severe anxiety, an overwhelming sadness, or even extreme bitterness (which we just discussed).  These are afflictions of the mind and spirit, not sicknesses that affect the body, although letting these things linger will affect our body eventually.  It is imperative as Christians that we learn how to overcome these types of affliction before they get the best of us. James gives us a key to that escape – pray!

I realize that people in these situations typically find it very hard to pray.  They feel like their prayers are ineffective and that God is not listening to them.  They feel distant in their spirit and have lost hope that God want to help them.  Often they give up on God for a while and try to figure things out on their own.  Often, we will pray for them, thinking we can help them with our prayers, and we can.  But the remedy that James gives is that the afflicted person pray. Why?

I believe the afflicted must pray for two reasons.  The first is that they must pray for themselves.  God respects our cry for help when we are in distress.  Just look at the Psalms! They are full of cries for help in the midst of affliction and distress.  The psalmist was continually under siege by their enemy, and this is the same word for affliction that James uses here.  As you read through these episodes in the psalms, you will notice that the writer always reverts back to praise, knowing that God will not only hear but answer his  prayers.  The afflicted can always depend on that truth and as they pray God will make it clear to them that He will answer.

The second reason is to pray for others.  Intercessory prayer is our highest calling as Christians.  Bringing the needs of others before the throne of God lets God know that we have compassion and mercy in our hearts.  This is pleasing to God.  But the real reason is that intercessory prayer takes our focus off from ourselves and put our own troubles at a distance.  It helps us rise above those problems and lifts us to a different level  If we continue in these prayers, our affliction can lift completely.

I am not trying to imply this is easy.  James makes a simple statement that is very difficult to comply with, but it is very possible as well.  When we can learn to turn our hearts to prayer in the midst of any affliction, we will be able to overcome the affliction sooner.  It helps us to understand these things and put them into practice if we ever find ourselves in these circumstances.

Now to the singing!  Are we prone to praise?  Do we lift up our voices and worship when things are going right?  This word merry means to be of good cheer.  It is basically the opposite of being afflicted.  It denotes a time of rejoicing in our spirit.  Something has gone right for us and we are feeling good about life.  We should be singing psalms.

Do you take time to praise the Lord when things go right?  Do you acknowledge that He is behind the good things that take place in your life (James 1:17), no matter how small or trivial they may seem?  Does He receive the praise that is due Him?  I am amazed at the number of Christians who believe in coincidence, or that God did not play a part in some blessing they received.  I am amazed at how many forget to give God thanks when the are spared trouble.

Did that car skid through the intersection just after you got through it?  Did that branch fall from the tree just a couple feet away?  Did you get a check in the mail just in time to make that payment?  Did a bunch of co-workers get sick and you did not?  Have there been some homes broken into and yours was spared?  These are not coincidences, and you were not lucky.  Luck has no place in God’s kingdom.  These are the blessings of God, and we should be merry and sing psalms!

The truth is that God has His hand in everything that happens in our lives.  My favorite author, Fenelon for short, says “See only God”.  What he means by that is that we should see God in everything, involved in everything. wanting our best in everything.  The biblical basis for this is Proverbs 6-a where it says “In all thy ways acknowledge Him”.  All means all!  God is always there.  And we should always acknowledge His interaction in our lives by singing praise when we are merry, when things go right!  So let your praise ring out!

Establish Your Heart

James 5:8 KJV

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Does it seem to you as it seems to me, that James is obsessed with patience?  Do you think, as I just thought, that perhaps this is because his brother, Jesus, was very patient with him?  James most likely watched his brother from afar, joining the crowds around Him, but never becoming a follower and never chosen as a disciple.  I wonder how Jesus felt about that?  My guess is that He as not concerned with it.  He made the statement that to follow Him, one must forsake their mother, their brother, their sisters, etc.  James was probably there when He said that, and perhaps was offended.  James did not follow His brother closely, but He finally came to know the Savior under Paul’s ministry, years after Jesus had died.  He then realized how patient Jesus had been with him.  Perhaps this is why James talks about patience so much.  He had quite a lesson in the patience of his brother and his Savior.  He knows that Jesus wants us to have this same patience toward one another.

So how do we learn this type of patience?  James says we must establish our hearts.  This word establish means to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix , strengthen, make firm, to render constant or to confirm.  Those are some strong words, indicating a serious commitment.  How do I get to this point in my life, where my heart is truly established in the things of the Lord?  I wish I had all the answers to that question but perhaps I can offer a few suggestions.

James gives us a couple hints.  One at the end of verse 7, where he says the farmers waited for the former and the latter rain.  The rain is symbolism of the Holy Spirit.  When James speaks of the the latter rain here, he is talking spiritually about the Holy Spirit bringing us truth (July 16:13) from the word and bringing that truth to our remembrance (John 14:26) as we need it so we can rightfully divide the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).  As we rely more and more on the Holy Spirit to do this work, we rely less on our own intellect, our own wisdom.  Our own wisdom is foolishness to God (I Cor 3:19).  I have heard about more “intellectual” groups who have come up with the most absurd theories on the life of Christ.  Many of our main line denominational leadership is straying farther and farther from the truth of the bible.  These are intellectuals relying on human wisdom.  Their hearts are not established in Christ, in the word.  So step #1 is to rely on the Holy Spirit, listen to Him, and learn the truth of God’ word.

Perhaps that’s not as clear to some as it has to be.  Here is  good way to go about allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth contained in the word.  Read Psalm 1.  Then meditate on it for a while.  By meditating on it, I mean just spend some time thinking about the truths contained in it.  Think about the words and how they are interconnected, and how the verses associate with each other.  What is the common thread in this Psalm?  Now write out each verse in your own words.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your words as best you can.  Write from the depths of your heart how these verses, one at a time, speaks to you.  Your own words, from your own heart.  How does it apply to you?  How does this effect you?  What do you need to change to fulfill the verse, or to stop the behavior that matches the verse if that be the case?  Do you see yourself being able to fulfill the positives and releasing the negatives?  These steps are all art of meditating on the word.

As you go through scripture this way, you will be fully examining every aspect, and you will find that this verse will become more established in your heart.  The Holy Spirit will be with you as you answer these questions and will help you to write out where you stand on the issues pertaining to what God wants from you in this scripture.  As you do more and more scripture this what, you will become more established in the word.  Let the latter rain flow freely in your life!

The second clue is what James says next in this verse.  The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  If James believed this then, how much more do the signs of the times point to this today?  We must become more aware of this truth, and draw closer to Him than ever before.  Jesus said this in Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Are we doing His will?  Are we established enough to know what His will for our lives is?  I can tell you this much about knowing what God’s will is for your life.  It is following His guidance day in and day out.  Allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us in every situation.  Having the faith and patience to endure any trial.  Speaking kindly to all, not being anxious about tomorrow,  displaying the love of I Cor 13 – the list goes on and on.  We need to strive daily to fulfill these words.  And when we don’t we need to repent.

David was called a man after God’s own heart.  Why?  He committed adultery,  had a man killed so he could take the mans wife, could not control his kids, disobeyed God several times, and was a renegade hunted by King Saul.  How is this a man after God’s own heart?  It’s because he always repented and placed himself in God’s hands when he did wrong.  He always took his misery and wore it on his sleeve, bringing it to God.  A repentant heart is what God desires from us (Psalm 51:17), before works, or praise (Matt 5:24), or any other thing.  If we are not walking in repentance on a daily basis, we need to have God search our hearts more often (Psalm 139:23-24).  It is then we will see our need.

If you would like to embark on a journey to a repentant heart, I would like to recommend a truly compelling, 24 week daily bible study Io have been through a couple times.  It has changed me both times and drawn me closer to God.  It is called “The Walk of Repentance” by Steve Gallagher and can be found on Amazon.  It will challenge you, but it will also establish the word in your heart trough the principles outlined above.

Be blessed!

Patience revisited

James 5:7 KJV

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

I live in Iowa. For those of you who don’t know Iowa is a huge farming state. Our farmers produce more corn and soybeans than any other state in the country. We are the third largest farm economy in the country. We are proud of our farmers and our state would not survive if something happened to the farm economy.

I have grown to admire farmers very much. Some people think they only work to plant and harvest but when those two things aren’t going on they are always busy working on machinery to make sure it’s ready for the next phase. But nothing is more impressive then the fact that they have the patience to wait for a crop.

In the fall, after harvest, many actually start preparations for the next spring.  They till the soil and put fertilizer on so it sets in during the fall and winter, before the frost sets in.  a lot of farmers are now using manure from chicken and hog farms (we are also #1 in both of those categories). In the spring, once the frost is out and the ground temperatures are above 50, they put tens of thousands of dollars into the ground that is prepared ahead of time. Of course, all is dependent on the spring rains.  It often gets to wet at times and delays planting.

There’s also money for herbicides and pesticides for some of them. All of this money is usually borrowed from the bank in hopes that there will be a harvest. As the season goes on there’s nothing more thrilling to me in the spring then you start to see those little buds start to pop out of the ground. You drive down the road and for miles and miles and miles all you see is straight rows of these little green things popping out of the ground. Watching them grow is nothing short of a miracle.

And they just have to trust God and be patient until the harvest is ready.  They need timely rains, about an inch a week.  No strong winds are needed, or it can knock over the corn crops.  Hail and tornadoes can stay away!  Temperatures have to stay warm enough – corn loves hot and humid!. But the farmer waits and trusts God will bring what is necessary, and in the fall he is rewarded most of the time with a crop that will pay the bills.

James says that we need to be patient like that farmer. We’ve talked extensively about patience before.  It is an attribute that is highly admired by God in my opinion. When we can sit back and not worry about when we are going to be healed or when that financial blessing is going to come or when that enemy is going to walk away, and we can simply trust God to do it at the right time, the peace and the joy of the Lord will be there for us just waiting. We will never have to wonder if God is going to come through because we’ll know he will. We will never have to wonder if we are walking in God’s plan because we will know that we are despite the things that come our way. My job is to just keep moving forward and go through the circumstances that come into my life while trusting the Lord and having the patience to wait it out until God is ready to relieve me.

I read a Blog several days ago that talked about the fact that this person had never prayed for patience because she had always been told that praying for patience will bring trials. She said she already had enough trials in their life and didn’t want to bring on more. I couldn’t help but think how desperately this person needed to pray for patience and yet they were afraid because they weren’t sure how it would come out. This kind of fear has no place in the kingdom of God. Praying for patience so we can endure the trials that come our way is one of the basic prayers of our lives. Didn’t the Psalmist say “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me”. Isn’t that essentially claiming patience to walk through that Valley?

If you gave not been with us through this whole journey in James, please go back to the second post from James 1:2   This post may help you understand why trials are so necessary in our lives, and how we should approach them.  Then go to the next two posts in James 1:3 and James 1:4  These two will help you understand why patience is so important to our Christian life. And patience only comes trough trials.

Patience is also a fruit of the spirit. The way I see fruit of this kind is it the more we give it out the more we receive. The more we give patience to somebody else the more we will have for ourselves. It’s something that we can’t keep inside of us. If I want patience for my own life I need to make sure that I am being patient with those around me. If I can’t be patient with those around me why should God bless me with more patience.

If you find yourself in a place where you are impatient with other people you’ll probably have a tough time being patient with God. This is a good time to pray for patience. Do not fear more trials because if you’re in this situation you probably have plenty already. God will help you through every single time if you’re praying to gain strength to go through a battle. He is the deliverer and the protector and He says if we ask He will give.  One of the biggest blessings He wants us to have is patience.   Ask for it, desire it, seek after it with all your heart.

 

Willing to Share

James 5:1-6 KJV

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

James now turns his attention to those who were considered rich.  In those days, many of the rich were landowners who hired people to reap the crops.  They would bring them in for a day at a time and pay them at the end of the day a wage that was agreed upon when they were hired.  This was the common practice in those days, and the men that were hired trusted the landowner to pay the wage they agreed to.  We can see an example of this in Matt 20:1-16, where a landowner agreed with various workers all day how much he would pay them.  When the first ones there found out that the last ones got the same wage, they were irate.  But the landowner told them they had agreed upon a wage, and he was just carrying out what he said he would do.

But James tells us that the rich ere depriving people of their wages, and that they were hoarding the crop to themselves. In the law, God told them to leave some of the crop behind for those who did not have much (Deut 24:19, Lev 23:22). This simple law was there to help those who may not be able to buy food because they could not get hired for some reason, or because they were just passing trough the land, or were widows who ad no provider to take care of them.   God cares about all of His children!

I know that the practice of hiring laborers day to day still happens all around the world, and the employers are still defrauding those they hire.  I have a young friend in Uganda who tells me this happens to him and many others on a regular basis – they get hired for the day at $1 a day, and after they work hard the boss says they will get paid the next day.  They come back for the wage and the boss say work today and then I will pay you, but he does not.  This cycle goes on, and the law does nothing bout it.  In our country we have labor laws that aid in this not happening, but many countries do not have that protection for the workers.

God sees these rich that defraud others and hoard their goods.  He sees those who break promises to others.  He sees those who will not help someone else when they have the means to do so.  This follows this previous verse for a reason.  These rich folks know what is right and good, but they continue in their wicked ways, and James is making them aware that it is sin tor them to not do the right thing.  They may be rich on this earth, but it is only here that they will have that empty enjoyment.

I believe God gives to us solely so that we can give to others.  He never expects us to hoard it for ourselves.  We are a blessed in different ways, we all have different gifts and talents.  He did not give these to us for ourselves, but to be a blessing to others.  God expects us to develop those talents He has given us so there is more than He gave (Matt 25:14-30).  This allows us to further bless others.

We live in a blessed country (USA).  I am not a rich man – I am below the average income (because I am in cancer treatments right now) in this country but would be considered very rich in many countries.  God has provided me everything I need and more.  He expects that I will do good with what I have.  That I will be a blessing to others any way I can.  That when He speaks to me about giving to someone, or praying for someone, or giving a word to someone that I will do it.  If I were rich, more would be required because more was given by God.

The only thing I feel rich in is words.  But this portion of scripture can apply to those riches as well.  If God gives me direction to share words with you in this log, or to craft a poem for my Psalmist blog, then I need to do that.  There is no value in holing them for myself, and it would be sin for me to do so because God says this is a good thing.  If He instructs me to do god, and I don’t do it, it is sin to me, remember?  We must all be diligent to share our gifts whenever we are given the opportunity.  That is the essence of what James is saying here.  It’s not just for the rich – it’s for all of us.

Don’t Sin – Just Do It!

—James 4:16-17 KJV

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

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

I don’t know about you but I hear it quite often. “We are going to Disneyland next week on vacation!”  “I have a huge appointment for a job interview tomorrow!”  “In Jesus name I am not going to be sick tomorrow – I’m going to be well and healed!” These words are all based on whether we have tomorrow or not. As my last post said, we cannot count on tomorrow. So all these statements are what James is calling evil. They are boasts on what we are claiming for a day we do not even have for sure yet. It is hard for me to understand why James calls these evil, but here is how I see what James is saying.

We have the attitude that if we make plans, God has to honor them.  My prayers need to be tempered with God’ grace, as do my utterances about my future plans.  I have learned through reading several different authors that the best way to pray is to ask God to give me strength to make it through any sickness that He’s allowed in my life. I should ask God to give me wisdom as I face the appointment that I have tomorrow. AI should ask God for traveling mercy for any place I am planning to go tomorrow. I can never assume that any of these things will actually happen. Because I don’t know if God’s going to give me tomorrow.
I believe James call evil because it is assuming God is going to do something. There are many people who assume that if they ask something of God it is theirs. The name it claim it crowd think that they can ask anything and it will be done for them. After all, Jesus did say if you ask anything in my name I will do it. But I’ve come to understand that asking in His name means asking according to His will and His word.  His will is not always known to us. There are some who would say that the Bible certainly tells us His will and I would agree. And the Bible says that we were healed by Jesus on the cross – I  agree with that also. But there is nothing that says God has to do it today or tomorrow. There’s nothing that gives a timetable of when God has to act. So when we assume that we can tell God what to do just because we pray, that is what James calls evil. Because it is suppossing that we have some kind of authority over God. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Then James says something that can knock us all back. He says that if we know that we should do something good and we don’t do it, that we sin. Most of us think that it takes an action to sin. We have to commit adultery. steal,  lie, gossip, murder or someone else against God’s moral law. That is what we consider sin.  We see sin as  an action that is actually carried out against ourselves or against God or against our fellow human beings. But James takes it a step further.
When we see someone or something that we can do for someone else that would help them in some way and we don’t do it James calls that sin. I believe what he says is true. I believe that God places things in front of us on a regular basis for us to accomplish. Then He whispers in our ear what He wants to us to accomplish. And the fact that it was brought to our attention tells me that we heard that whisper. When we don’t do it it is simple disobedience. And disobedience is sin. If we don’t know about the situation and we don’t do it then we are not held responsible.
It is like the watchman on the wall in Ezekiel 33.   Ezekiel tells us that if somebody knows that trouble is coming and they warn the people, then any blood shed will not be on the watchman’s hand. But if they do not warn the people then the blood will be on their hands. Once again they have been made aware of a situation and they have done what they can to help people understand how the situation is going to affect them. They were obedient to what God asked them to do.
So how do I know if God is asking me to do something? It really is very simple. If it has been brought to my attention that someone is in need of either a physical blessing, or just someone to sit with them and talk, or maybe even a correction that needs to be given to them, and we do not do it then we have missed an opportunity to bless them and that is sin to us. God brings things to our attention on a regular basis. He does this to see if we’re listening and obeying. He gives us opportunity day in and day out to be a blessing to others. Let’s not miss those opportunities.
This verse is not here to place any condemnation on anybody. It is here to make us aware of God’s expectation in our lives. I’m glad James brings this up because it ties in so well with his teaching on the necessity of works in our lives. If it was only grace that saved us this verse would be irrelevant. Works are what shows people our faith and those works need to be done as we further our salvation experience. Remember – we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling? This is how we do that. By taking every opportunity to bless those around us.
Get out there and do all the good you can today because you don’t know if you have tomorrow. As one of my favorite author says “Don’t insult today by looking for a better tomorrow.”
Be blessed

What About Tomorrow?

James 4:13-15 KJV

13 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:

14 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.

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

Planning for the future is something many of us spend a lot of time on. And it is good that we do. The Bible is very specific about planning my financial situation for the future.  You can read Proverbs 6:6-8 or Proverbs 27:23 to see this. We also need to plan our spiritual future. Have I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and made heaven my home?. That is a plan that we should never neglect. James is not talking about those two areas of the future. I believe what he’s addressing here are the day to day things that we do.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus talks about day-to-day circumstances and I think James is trying to help people remember what the Lord said at that time. He wants people to remember that God has the ultimate say on what their plans will be. We do not know if we even have tomorrow! How often do we consult God and ask him what we should do tomorrow? How often do we sit and pray and seek guidance for tomorrow or even for the rest of today?

I probably mentioned it before but I sell Aflac insurance. Right now I am not working because of my cancer treatments and because of the frigid cold in the Midwest. But when I get back to work, I will always leave room for God to direct me during my day. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to go into this business or that business when I hadn’t planned on doing that. And most of the time I follow that leading I am rewarded with a nice welcome and possibly a new customer. It’s essential that I try to listen for this prompting of the Holy Spirit as I make my way from business to business and town to town.

When I plan my tomorrows I need to leave room for God to move there. If I schedule so tightly that God does not have a place to move me then when the prompting of the Holy Spirit comes I will say “God, I don’t have the time!  My schedule is too full.” Remember James says that our time is like a vapor.  My life is gone in an instant and we hardly know that the day is past before it’s over. I need to make sure I am giving God every opportunity to bless me in the middle of that day by listening very closely and by following the prompt when I get it.

This does not only go for business. It also goes for my prayer life and my personal life. I need to stay open to hear what God has to say on these things too.  When a person comes into my mind during the day, I always start to pray, or I go visit them if I am able.  I may text them or call them to see ow their day is going.  God brings people to our minds on  constant basis because they need our prayers or an encouraging word.  Do I take the time to do those things?

If there’s one hing I need to make sure that I plan every day it’s to spend time in his word. If you do not spend this time when you first get up, then most likely the rest of the day will eat up any time you have planned for God. I strongly urge you to put God first thing in the day and spend 10 minutes to 2 hours, whatever you can, in his word and in devotion to Him in prayer and praise. These plans are always pleasing to God.

The second thing that Jesus addressed was worrying about tomorrow. There is absolutely no sense in doing that. God holds our tomorrow in his hands.  When we are fully devoted to him, nothing will come into our lives that will be harmful in the long run. Things may look harmful to us, and they may seem harmful – they may even seem like the end of the world to us. But if we are in God’s hands, and we know we are, then we have nothing to fear because He is always in control and He will bring us through just fine.

If you make it a habit to worry about tomorrow then I might suggest you need to draw closer to God. You need to allow Him to give you the assurance that He has you in the palm of His hands and He always will. He is intricately involved in your life and in every phase of your life. He knows you better than you know yourself. And He will watch over you and protect you no matter what circumstance comes your way. If you don’t know these things then get into the word more. Here are some scriptures that might help you realize how much God is involved in your life. Meditate on these and make them part of your belief system:

Psalm 33:18-19  But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 139:1-14  You have searched me, Lordand you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;  you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;  you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast,
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,  they would outnumber the grains of sand, 
when I awake, I am still with you.

Jer 29:11-13  11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Joshua 1:8  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Isaiah 40:31 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isa 41:10  10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I could fill 100 pages with scriptures showing you ow much He loves you and will take care of you.  This is a start.  I urge you to find more on your own.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you very day into is promises.  He has more for you than you can possibly imagine!