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Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Each of us has dreams growing up. We dream of being famous. We dream of having fancy clothes, big homes and vacation homes and being able to travel. Then life hits us and for the vast majority of us we look back and see that little, if anything, went as planned.

Gravity attacks our body with vengeance. Old age reminds us of our mortality. We fall victim to health issues, financial issues or relational issues. We suffer from own poor choices or the abuse of others. Our children struggle. A car accident, a fall, an illness can change things in an instant and all the dreaming and planning is for nothing.

The only thing we can be certain of in life is uncertainty. Even King Solomon, with all his wealth and power, bemoaned the fact that the things in life are empty. Still we plan all these things about tomorrow without really knowing where our next breath will come from. No matter how wise we are and no matter how much we plan for the future, reality is we just can’t see tomorrow.

That’s the bad news. Now for the good news. We have a Heavenly Father who not only sees tomorrow. He created it. Tomorrow may not hold what you’d hoped for or expected, but it is EXACTLY what He expected. There are no surprises with God.

Not only has He been to tomorrow and back, He wants you to succeed. While the consequences of poor choices may have sent you on a detour, He can always bring you back to the main road. Happiness and contentment in life isn’t from the things we hold in our hands, but from the things we hold in our heart.

James doesn’t tell us not to plan. Planning is vitally important. The old adage “If you fail to plan you plan to fail’ isn’t in the Bible but its very true. What James is telling us as Christ-followers is that we need always to include God in those plans and leave room for his working. Our lives are like vapors, like the early morning fog. Here now, gone later. All the material things we’ve done will soon pass. But the lives we change will continue on.

The key to success in live isn’t planning and education or relying on the advice of other people. Success comes by seeking God’s direction for you. Education and the wisdom of those who’ve gone before you is important, but only when combined with seeking God for direction.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I look behind me and see so many mistakes I’ve made, and I suffer the  consequences of. I fear what lies ahead of me with health, finances and relationships. I thank you that while my life here is short, my life with you will last for eternity. Help me to learn to include you in all my dreams so that I can store my riches with you for eternity. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Revelation 3:18

How we perceive something affects our entire outlook on life. Years ago ‘magic eye’ pictures were very popular. These mosaic design pictures had hidden pictures among the dots or squares. Some people could see the message in the picture right away. Others had a hard time seeing the message, or couldn’t see the message at all. It is all a matter of perception.

Spiritual perception can work the same way. In Revelation John writes to the church in Laodicea. The church in Laodicea was well established. They had been doing the same things for years and had become very stable. The trouble is, sometimes stability leads to stagnancy and Laodicea had become stagnant. In today’s terms they may be referred to as being ‘politically correct’.

The Laodicean’s knew what they stood doctrinally. They believed all the right things. The problem was that tradition and leniency had seeped into the church so that it was really hard to tell the difference between traditional and doctrine. In a word, they were comfortable. Jesus didn’t call us to grow comfortable and stagnant. He called us to be vibrant, alive members of society. Like salt adds flavor and preservatives to food, the Christ follower is to be a positive change agent in their world.

Jesus issued some harsh words to the Laodicean’s about their spiritual perception. Perhaps the biggest concern was the fact that the people didn’t even realize how far they had strayed. Like the frog in boiling water they had become so accustomed to the gradual straying from God’s ways they didn’t realize how far they were from the truth. It was as though the people in the Laodicean church had cataracts. They no longer saw their mission and purpose clearly.

As a follower of Jesus Christ we need to constantly check our spiritual eyesight to make sure we are seeing life through Jesus’ eyes and not the eyes of tradition or denominational dogma. The best way to do that is to, first of all, go directly to the source. Spend time reading the Bible on a daily basis, not just reading books about the Bible.

Secondly, talk to God about your questions. Prayer is not just you talking and God listening. It’s voicing your concerns, needs, etc. and then meditating and giving God a chance, through His Holy Spirit, to direct your thoughts in the direction He wants you to go.

Lastly, build your life around a core group of believers that you can trust to tell you the truth, pray with you and encourage you through the tough times.

Jesus wanted to clear up the eyesight of the people in Laodicea because He knew that clear eyesight leads to clear direction. In the same way He wants each of us to see how we can best change the world around us.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I come to you today realizing that my view of you and of what you want me to be is in danger of being affected by society, tradition and denominational dogma. As David prayed, I ask that you would search me and see if there is anything in my life that is keeping me from being salt to those around me. Show me through your Word, prayer and fellow believers how I can be the vibrant person you want me to be. Amen.

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