Born in 1834, Charles Spurgeon was one of the most popular preachers in London by the age of 21. His sermons were also published inwritten form. One, entitled God’s Will About the Future, was based on James 4:13-17, our text today. It was scheduled for distribution on Sunday, February 7, 1892. One week before that, on January 31, Charles Haddon Spurgeon died, 57 years of age. Considering the subject matter of the text, the timing of that event was perfect. Life is uncertain. Make the desire to please God your life’s principle driving force.
Winston Churchill was reportedly a master at insults and had famously difficult interactions with the equally sharp-tongued Nancy Astor, the first woman MP. On one occasion, she found the Prime Minister drunk in a hotel elevator. Condescendingly she remarked, “Sir Winston, you are drunk!” to which Churchill replied, “M’Lady, you are ugly. Tomorrow, I will be sober.” In our passage today, James elaborates on the dangers of the tongue, which we might call “the body part from hell.”