”Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.” James 4:13-16 AMP
Thoughts for Today
The “I can do it myself” mode can creep up on us. You might have started out recognizing your need for God in all areas of your life. You focused on him and he began transforming you and guiding you and helping you grow and mature. With that growth came success—perhaps in a ministry or a career or in some area of your life. People praised you and a subtle change began to take place. You began to look at what you had done, instead of remembering that God had enabled you to be successful. Your self-confidence and “me-focus” grew and you began to depend less and less on God. Today’s scripture reminds us that “you boast falsely in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.”
The fact is—we do need God. And sooner or later when we try to do things our way, instead of seeking him for his way, we will fail.
Take a step back from your busyness and examine your life. Is there an area where you are operating in this “I can do it myself” mode? If so, are you willing to recognize your need for God and trust him to guide you and mold you into the person he wants you to be, accomplishing those things he has called you to do? Are you ready to stop trying to do things in your own strength and wisdom? Are you ready to praise him for your successes?
Father, I think I’ve been a little carried away with self-importance in this area of my life. Please forgive me and help me refocus on you. I know that all my gifts and talents and successes come from you. Help me to honor you in all I do. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Completely Free! by Dan Strickland. Everyone struggles from time-to-time, but we can have confidence that in Christ we are completely free from sin's slavery, from condemnation, and from fear of failure.
This group study of Romans 1-8 and 12 helps Christians break out of the dull routine of a stagnant spiritual life. Applying the truths found in Romans can transform any believer into a person eager to follow God's will. This study can also serve as a powerful evangelistic tool by explaining the message of salvation as presented in Romans. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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