Sermon Reflections from Boasting About Tomorrow | Damon Hopkins | July 23, 2023
Damon was on fire for the Lord this week as he spoke from the heart about James 4. However, he set the stage by referring to our memory verse for this week, Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Everything is life hinges on our faith in Jesus. We can pray to Him, feel His Spirit within us testifying to Him, we can read His Word but we cannot see Him. And yet, knowing what we feel, read, hear and share with others about Him, we can be assured of the unseen. Living a life of faith as proclaimed in Romans 1:17 “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” And 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. “ This begs the question, are you waking by faith, trusting in the unseen God? Your proof of His existence should be your life. What miracles has He performed on your behalf? What relationships has He mended? In what ways has God provided for you? Start a blessing list today and watch it grow. It will be added proof of God in your life and your dependence upon Him!
Damon then launched into James 4 and tackled the admonitions from James to put away fighting amongst ourselves. What motives did Damon mention that trouble you? You own desires, things you covet, pride, hatred… the list is long for all of us. However, as a Christian we do not need to settle for repeating these sins that cause strife among us. We can choose Jesus and His better way of living. Damon suggested this recipe for following and avoiding the pitfalls Satan wants us to drop into!
Examine our own behavior. Seek to look at yourself honestly. Can’t see things- ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify areas you need to work on. The Apostle Paul struggled with this and relates in Romans 7:18-20 “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
Pray. Confession is good for the soul and leads to renewed life. 1 John 1:9 is one of my favorite promises. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God promises to forgive and cleanse us of all we have done wrong- not just some but all. We get a new start with each confession. God promises to bury our sins in the depth of the sea (Micah 6:19) and they are behind His back (Isaiah 38:17). God puts them away and does not refer to them again. If you are troubled by a sin that you have asked forgiveness for- know that it is Satan that is causing you to remember not God. They are behind Him. Rebuke Satan and move forward knowing you are forgiven completely.
Read the Word. Look into God’s Word to know Him better, know what he desires of you and how you are to live. Here are a few places to start in your search. Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapters 5-7 or the Upper Room discourse in John Chapters 14-17, some of the shorter letters of Paul- Philippians speaks of joy filled living and Galatians focuses on faith in Christ alone.
Discuss with other believers your struggles, hopes, dreams, and desires so that together you may be grounded and established in Christ. Fellowship is essential to growth and confirmation of our faith. We are to build each other up in Christ. I love the words of Hebrews 10:23-25 “ Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
As you read and meditate upon this 4th chapter of James this week, also look into your life and see if you are a ‘war’ or enmity with God over anything. Are you focusing more on worldly things versus spiritual goals and truths? Would you consider yourself double-minded? James tell us that the solution is to focus on Jesus. 7-8 “ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Damon empathized God’s promise if we submit to God, resist Satan, draw near to God Then HE PROMISES to Come to You! You can count on it!
Damon concluded with James’ admonition to not boast about tomorrow as we do not know what tomorrow holds. We only know for certain who holds our future, JESUS! God promises in Deuteronomy 31:6 about our future, “ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We can count on Him! He is always with us!
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