We are now up to James 4:13-17(NLT), in terms of the verses, Selwyn is using throughout these studies (as follows).
‘Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.’
I think the message in James’ verses are covered in Selwyn’s introductory remarks:“James now focuses on those believers who live their lives as if God were not interested in their daily walk through the world. Someone has described such people as ‘Christian atheists’. They are Christian because they claim to believe in Jesus; they are atheists because they plan their days as if God did not exist. … We must understand that James is not against Christians making plans, but against them making plans without God”
It’s really very simple, we pray before making our plans, inviting God to guide us.
The challenging verse (for me) in today’s text, is not mentioned by Selwyn, it’s this one: “… it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” It’s a challenge because it reminds us that to be holy, is not only to live a life free of evil actions, but also to do the good things – the option, to do ‘nothing’, is not available to us. It’s a painful challenge to us because we know that there are many times when we fail this test. Do you disagree?