James 4:13-16 – Self Confidence

Read James 4:13-16

I’m a planner. I admit I can even obsess over it. I always want everything to be “just right.” These verses really gave me something to think about. When does planning become boastful? I suppose the answer to that is when you don’t invite God into the planning process.

James would suggest even our semantics matter. “What you ought to say is, ‘If the LORD wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’” How do we know what the LORD wants us to do? That’s the rub! I have been known to say, “God willing, we will do this or do that.” I like the confident peace I get from knowing my plans have been submitted to God requesting his guidance and blessing.

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Jeremiah 17:1-18 – Trust in the Lord

Read Jeremiah 17:1-18

two hands extending toward a bright light in the shape of a cross

We may not be the initial audience Jeremiah was preaching to, but we can still glean important messages that will help us on our own faith journeys. That’s the beauty of God’s word. It is alive and continues to bring wisdom. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of who is talking, Jeremiah or God. It’s helpful to remember when it’s Jeremiah, there are no quotation marks.

Instead of focusing on what the people in Jeremiah’s time were doing wrong, let’s focus on what God says will please him. “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” We were just talking about confidence in our last reading!

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