Sermon Summary | "Planning in a Pandemic"

James 4:13-17 encourages us to adopt one specific way of living as we go back to regular life (post-quarantine): “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” In this passage, James addresses two things: 1) what people say, and 2) what people ought to say. People were planning their lives without regard for the brevity of life, the certainty of death, and their total dependence on God. James corrects them, because our planning must be informed by a recognition that we are dependent creatures and not the Creator God. We must continuously weaken our pride by acknowledging our total dependence on God. Such a “Lord willing” perspective should excite and direct us as we remember that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does James 4:13-17 demonstrate God’s heart and intimate concern for every aspect of your life?
  2. This season of quarantine has offered unique opportunities to re-evaluate life’s priorities and plans. Why does acknowledging our dependence on God, as James instructs, offer us peace of mind in the midst of such interruptions?
  3. Where has it been difficult to apply a “Lord willing” mindset in your life lately? How might you pray “your will be done” in that situation?
  4. We are dependent on God for every breath we take and every penny we make. What practices will you implement in your life to better acknowledge this dependence? At the beginning of the day? The end of the day? Throughout?
  5. Jesus has saved us from our attempts at self-sufficient planning. How can we communicate the liberating excitement of the “Lord willing” perspective to unbelievers?