“The Things You’ve Prepared” ( Proverbs 27: 1, ESV ) by Carley Evans


God the Holy Spirit says,“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Jesus says, “Each day has enough trouble of its own” to be consumed with boasting — or worry — over tomorrow.

Jesus tells a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 16-21)

Don’t say ‘tomorrow I’m going to do this or go there.’ Rather, say ‘if it is the will of God, I’m going to do this or that, go here or there.’ “The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.” (James 3:5) God the Holy Spirit says this should not be. Our tongues should not be wagging boastful plans for tomorrow.

Rather,  we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to [us].” (Matthew 6:33)

 

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“Completely Open Before God” ( Romans 12: 3, NEB ) by Carley Evans


Paul suggests, rather strongly I think, “in virtue of the gift that God in His grace has given [him]” that each of us should “not be conceited or think too highly of [ourselves]; but think [our] way to a sober estimate based on the measure of faith that God has dealt to each of [us].”

Too often, we seem to be akin to Peter, James and John the brother of James on the mount where Jesus is transfigured before them. Peter says, “Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish it, I will make three shelters here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Matthew 17:4-5) We just want to sit down and be in the Presence of the Glory of God. We want to leave the lost world behind, and rest. But Paul tells us not to desire to abandon the world; instead, we are to remain in it. He reminds us that “we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.'” (2 Corinthians 5:20, HCSB) “Because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade people. We are completely open before God.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)

Paul warns us not to “take pride in the outward appearance rather than in the heart.” (2 Corinthians 5:12) We are not to “think too highly of [ourselves].” “So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)

“Do Not Flatter Yourselves” ( Proverbs 27: 1, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“Do not,” writes the wise man, “flatter yourself about tomorrow, for you never know what a day will bring forth.” James says, “A word with you, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there trading and making money.’ Yet you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Your life, what is it?  You are no more than a mist, seen for a little while and then dispersing. What you ought to say is: ‘If it be the Lord’s will, we shall live to do this or that.’ But instead you boast and brag, and all such boasting is wrong.” (James 4:13-16)

Jesus tells us, “Set your mind on God’s kingdom and His justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of it own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

God warns us not to brag about our own deeds; those we plan for today or tomorrow. We are not to be arrogant, saying that we will do this or that. We are also not to worry about our futures with anxiety about what might happen or not happen to us. Instead we are to “set [our] minds on God’s kingdom,” recognizing that “it is God who works in [us], inspiring both the will and the deed, for His own good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

“Divine Weakness” (2 Corinthians 10: 17 – 18, NEB) by Carley Evans


“Not the man who recommends himself, but the man whom the Lord recommends — he and he alone is to be accepted.” Therefore, “if a man must boast, let him boast in the Lord.” I write this because the Lord is the one who is always acceptable, who is always recommended. He and he alone is trustworthy at all times.

Paul says that “we should not dare to class ourselves or compare ourselves with any of those who put forward their own claims. What fools they are to measure themselves by themselves, to find in themselves their own standard of comparison.” (2 Corinthians 10: 12) Whereas, if we compare ourselves to Jesus, we know we fall short.

Paul says, “If boasting there must be, I will boast of the things that show up my weakness.” (2 Corinthians 11: 30) And Jesus tells both Paul and us, “My grace is all you need; power comes to its full strength in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9) That Jesus has power may not be evident to some. “True, He died on the cross in weakness, but He lives by the power of God; and we who share His weakness shall by the power of God live with Him.” (2 Corinthians 13: 4) Remember that “divine folly is wiser than the wisdom of man, and divine weakness stronger than man’s strength.” (Romans 1: 25)

“As The Lord Wills” (Proverbs 27: 1, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

“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’ — 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. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this and that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4: 13 – 16)

We call it self-confidence, confidence in our education, confidence in the marketplace, confidence in our plans; God — through Solomon and later through James — calls it arrogance, and that arrogance is equivalent to evil.

On the other hand, Jesus tells us, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6: 34)

So, we are not to arrogantly state our plans for tomorrow as if we are in control of it nor are we to worry in anxiety about tomorrow since we are not in control of it. Instead we are to seek God first and trust Him to carry us through today and into tomorrow as He wills. And when we speak of tomorrow, we are to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4: 15)

If the Lord wills, we will be alive tomorrow.