Have you been busy making plans for the next 12 months, like I always do about this time of year? James 4:14 does a great job of putting such plans in perspective. It reads, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
Here Scripture reminds us that our lives are fleeting. Can’t you feel that? The older I get, the faster the years are flying by.
The context of this verse seems especially fitting for the start of a New Year, with all its attendant resolutions and goal setting. We must take care not to factor God out of the equation when formulating our plans:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
That last verse is a kicker, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but my list of New Year’s resolutions is full of “right things” I know I should be doing. In light of James 4:14, what I need to do is pray that God will give me the life and grace and strength and discipline to do the right thing — then let Him have all the glory once it’s accomplished.
One of the right things I would like to be more faithful about doing is hiding the Word in my heart and in the hearts of my children. Want to join in? Here are nine great memory verses (from a set of 117 — coming soon!) to get you started: