Do That Good Today.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. – Jms. 4:14-15 KJV

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Today’s devotional is a sequel to the Devotional titled “You Are Not The Law-giver” where the advise that James, who possibly was the brother of Jesus Christ and the first Bishop of the Church of Christ in Jerusalem, gave to the Christians of his time, with regards to fostering unity within the body of Christ, was discussed. Revealing to them at that time that egocentric acts remain the core of the constant disagreements that they were experiencing amongst them and it was threatening, not only to tear them apart, but to also lead them into spiritual adultery, he advised them to avoid speaking evil about one another, and also judging one another – Jms. 4:1-12. That this advise remains relevant to the Christian today is not in doubt as the Body of Christ is as divided, if not more divided, today than it was in his time and this is largely due to the factors identified by James.

 

In the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, he concluded that the one who postpones a good act to a future date, when such act can be done at that point in time, can be regarded as merely being boastful since such future date is completely outside his/her control. This is a future that such is not even sure of, as he compares the life of man to a mist which appears for a while and then vanishes. Such an act he advises, should be avoided by members of the Body of Christ.

 

In calling out such people, and comparing the life of man to a mist,  he drew their attention to the temporariness of the existence of man on earth, a fate which he emphasized by his use of the word “vanish” rather than “disappear”, as the former word emphasises more on the completeness and permanence of the non-existence. He thus advised Christians to live with this consciousness at all times as in that way, they will condition their ability to implement all those lofty plans, on the willingness of the Lord to grant man the grace to be alive in the first place, after all, it is the one that is alive that will implement a plan – Jms. 4:13-14.

 

This advise becomes necessary, as he may have observed how Christians of his time were postponing to a future date, that is not within their control, a good that could and should be done immediately. Such approach to life, he concluded, was a sinful act – Jms. 4:17. As far as he was concerned, such promises remain what it is, a simple excuse to avoid doing good.

 

Many Christians today are involved in such trickery where giving promises that will be implemented at a future date is used to avoid doing a good deed, that they are already in a position to do. The excuse then becomes a convenient diversionary tactic used to give the impression that they want to do the good, which they do not intend to do, but which gives false hope to the intended beneficiary of such promises.

 

Even in situations where there is genuine intention to fulfil such promises, James advises that the one giving the promise should be wary of the temporariness of life itself and the exclusive control that Jehovah exercises over all the factors that can guide such acts and make it possible for such promises to be implemented.

 

No human being will be expected to make a promise of an act that will be implemented at a future date, no matter the level of the sincerity behind the promise, without conditioning such on the permissiveness of Jehovah. This is because none of the conditions necessary for the fulfillment of the promise is within the control of the one that is promising. Ranging from physical ability to the possession of the resource being promised, and to being alive to even implement the promise, all of which James says can vanish in no time, none is within the control of the one who is making a promise. It will therefore be wise on the part of both the one that is promising and the one that is being promised, to exercise caution, being aware that both may not even be alive to either fulfil or receive the promise, due to the temporariness of life.

 

Do all in your capacity today, with the mind that not just tomorrow, but the next minute is a bonus. You may only have this moment to implement that act, that will enable you receive the mercy of God in his kingdom. Where you spend eternity may be assured because all you simply need do is to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, but how you spend eternity may be dependent on that good deed, the implementation of which you postponed. Do not let that postponed good deed be counted for you as sin, simply because the temporariness of life stopped you from doing it at your own desired time, as the sincerity of your desire to do it will not be sufficient to exonerate you from the consequences of its not been done, since it will be deemed as sin. Do it now like there is no tomorrow. May God continue to put in us the consciousness of the  temporariness of life in Jesus name. Amen.

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