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Working in the Shade or Light


James 4:13-17

Verse 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.


We ended our time yesterday with the question, “What good does it do us to know His will if our relationship with Him is so shallow that we don’t care about following His will?” James shows us today the danger that can come when we are not growing in our relationship with Him.


When we are not seeking His will and relationship with Him it is easy for us to fall into the trap of living for self and the desires of this world. The danger of this, not just for ourselves but for the Church, is that if we are still claiming that we are His people and saying that we are working for Him but are in truth working for the things of this world, our lives will be reflecting things that are not of God and His will.


When we are pretending to be in His will, whether that is consciously or unconsciously done, we are in a sense false advertising for Him. To claim to be living for Him but not living to fulfill His purpose in our lives, we are living as false witnesses to His glory. His main purpose in our lives is not to make us flourish in the bounty of this world. This isn’t to say that He will never bless His people but He is less likely to bless someone in the ways of the world.


When we are going about building riches or making a name for ourselves, we tend to use schemes that don’t reflect a holy master. God is not going to be glorified in our lives if we are making shady dealings and dishonest efforts. If we are doing these things we can be assured that we are living for self and making ourselves god of our life.


What’s worse is when we brag about our ungodly ways of gaining in life. It is a way of the world to boast about how we made a deal that is far unbalanced in benefits. If our work dealings are serving our desires more than those that we are dealing with it is evidence that we are working for self-service. If we are living and working for God and His purposes that will be evident in the way that the deal serves both parties. It will not be heavy in our favor and light in favor of our associates. God is glorified when we are living as a blessing to others.


Making It Personal

Do your business dealings benefit you more than the other party? Would your boss be honored by your work dealings? Is God being glorified by your work?


Making It Personal Kids

Do you do things for people so that you look good to others or so that they can see the love of Jesus in you? Is Jesus happy with how you live? Do you like living for Jesus?


Closing Prayer

Father, forgive us for the times that our work has been to glorify us instead of You. Give us the desire to live solely for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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