James 4:14-15 & Mark 8:36
We have all heard that “Give me” has become the catch phrase of our generation. It was attributed to Patrick Henry, that he said, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Then a later generation said, “Give me liberty.” But now, the cry is simply, “Give me!”
Getting, the accumulation of “stuff” seems to be the end game of us all to some degree or another. Goals, direction, purpose and plans are words we hear throughout our lives that are intended to encourage us towards a successful future. So, we set goals, make plans and direct our lives with purpose in order to achieve the success related to the American Dream.
This seems to be the intentions of those we read about in the passage from James. But, note that in all their planning, James points our an omission…they had failed to include the will of God in their plans. James is writing to Believers who needed to be reminded that God has a say in our lives. Truly, He gives us freedom to make choices, but offers His wisdom, discretion and direction,
Where our goals are often directed towards our physical and financial futures, God desires that we remember the spiritual aspect of life as well. His perspective is that which we read in Mark 8:36. We are more than human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience – we are, in reality, spiritual beings going through a temporary human (physical) experience.
God created mankind and included a soul which gives life to the physical body. He also place His image in man, which is the spirit- our God consciousness, putting ‘eternity in (our) hearts’ (Eccl 3:11 NKJV). Therefore, we should live our lives with eternity in view.
This is a temporary world we live in, it is transitory and our time here is limited. Because God has designed us to live somewhere forever, we must give thought as to where that will be. John 3:16 tells us that Jesus came to give us eternal life to be spent with Him in Heaven so that we need not ‘perish’, a word meaning ‘to destroy fully’.
When we leave this world, we leave behind everything we have accumulated. So, what have we gained (Mark 8:36)? The Apostle Paul said in Phil 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (KJV). He also said that he ‘knew in Whom he had believed…” (2Tim 1:12 KJV). Because of his faith, he was ready to both live and die with assurance that he would be with Christ.
As we make our plans for life, we must not forget to include God’s will in those plans.
GIVE ME JESUS is the title of two songs, one an African American Spiritual written by an unknown author, the other a hymn written by Fanny Crosby, but the messages are the same. In the final analysis, the old saying will be true, “’Tis only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only that which is done for Christ will last!”