What is Life
James 4:13-17
Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:…

I. Life is A SENSE — the soul's career in a body. On this account the body should be taken good care of, wisely inhabited and vigorously controlled (1 Corinthians 9:27).

II. Life is AN IMPULSE — ever pushed forward by some dominant motive, as of selfishness, or benevolence, avarice, ambition, pride, vanity, love of pleasure, &c. (2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 2:20).

III. Life is a PURSUIT, ever reaching out after or pursuing something in general that pleases us (Psalm 4:6).

IV. Life is AN ACT, i.e., characterised by things done; either what ought to be done, or what ought not to be done. And this is one of the main pivots of our accountability (2 Corinthians 5:10).

V. Life is A POWER, ever sending out influence, as a magnet sends out attraction, or the sun its light and heat.

VI. Life is A TEAR — a scene of varied and multiplied trials. "Born to trouble" is the world's cradle inscription. Witness Paul's catalogue (2 Corinthians 6:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 11:23-27). But what an admirable offset (2 Corinthians 1:5). And the same resource is free and open to every child of God.

VII. Life is A PERIOD — i.e., with a definite length, it has also an end. For this some adequate preparation should be made.

VIII. Life is A PROSPECT; looking beyond the bounds of time over into the bosom of eternity, and forward to the bar of God (2 Corinthians 5:1-9; 2 Timothy 4:8).

IX. Life is A WANT: alike in its beginning, continuance, and end. It is ever needy, as an infant for its mother's arms; or as a vine, stretching forth its tendrils for something by which to climb, or upon which to lean. And how all-happy is that soul that finds the true source of strength, and passes through all the wilderness of this world, and comes up out of it at last "leaning upon her beloved."

(J. G. Hall, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

WEB: Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow let's go into this city, and spend a year there, trade, and make a profit."

The Wisdom of the Divine Will
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