Daily Devotionals

Be Brave: Week 1 - Wednesday

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:17

Have you ever noticed that when children disobey, they often look at their parents straight in the eye as they are disobeying them? It's almost like they are telling their parent "I know what you want me to do (or not do), but I'm going to do what I want to do anyway!" Clearly, they know better than to disobey. They know what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to behave, but they choose to be disobedient. Even as little children, they know the truth found in James 4: it is a sin to know what you are supposed to do and not do it.

The book of James is a very applicable book of the Bible that does not mince words. Chapter four of James is no exception. As the chapter ends, James warns people that life goes by quickly. It is like fog: here one moment and gone the next. Because of that, believers ought to live intentionally, understanding that each moment is important because life is short and uncertain. This means that there is no room for laziness. There is no room to put anything off. James ends this chapter with a final challenge: "Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it" (verse 17). With that final verse, James is telling his readers, "You know how you are supposed to live intentionally, forgoing laziness. Now that you know how to live, it is a sin not to live that way."

How are you living your life? Are you living for each moment with intentionality and diligence, or are you living lazily for yourself? Are you doing the bare minimum at work, only concerned to get back home to your couch to watch television when 5:00pm rolls around? Are you putting off reaching out to people in your life who are not believers because you are not willing to put in the effort required to build relationships with unbelievers? Are you spending more time on your phone than with your family? My friends, the book of James is a reminder for us to live intentionally, refusing to be lazy with our short time on earth. We all know that God desires for us to work hard and diligently, and it is a sin to choose to be lazy instead. How will you choose to spend your time? My friend, I urge you to make every moment of your life matter.

Moving Toward Action

James urges us to live with the understanding that our lives are short, and he calls us to live intentional lives. One way we can live with intentionality and forsake laziness is to tell others about how God has changed our lives. Today be brave! Look down at your Sagebrush wristband and tell at least one unbelieving friend in your life your two-minute story, the story of how God has changed your life. Your story is powerful and has the potential to make a huge impact in the life of that person.

Going Deeper

Read James 4:13-17 (NLT)

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 pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.