Summary: James tells us if we lack wisdom "let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously." This sermon treats the text in an expository manner.


James 1:5-8

{5} But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and

without reproach, and it will be given to him. {6} But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. {7} For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, {8} being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.


A man known to be very conservative ( The assistant pastor to Dr. Charles Stanley) recommended me to a pastor search committee. The pastor search committee asked me to consider becoming their pastor. I agreed to pray with the committee related to this matter. They made some preliminary check’s and asked if they could come to the church I was pastoring and hear me preach and talk with me at length.

Following the visit the committee wanted me to come to their church in view of a call to become their pastor. I agreed to pray concerning this request. In the mean time the Interim pastor found out who recommended me and he said he would oppose my name being brought to the church. His opposition came because of negative interactions he had with the man who recommended me. Finally he said he would not oppose me if the committee checked me out further. The committee refused to take his advice.

The chairman called me to tell where they were and the problem they were having. I urged them to check me out further. I had no problem with the interims request. The committee did not want to give in but since I urged them to do further checking they finally agreed. After a more through checking the interim did some checking on his own and then became convinced that although I was very conservative I was not a trouble maker or radical in my approach to the ministry and my denomination.

After this experience the pastor search committee chairman thought I had the gift of wisdom.

I became the pastor of that church and assured this man God does not give a permanent gift of wisdom. I believe all Christians must seek wisdom from God. Our text commands all who lack wisdom to for this blessing from God.

1. Who should ask? v 5 a

2. What should we ask? v 5 b

3. Who should we ask

4. How should we ask? v 6-8

1. Who should ask for Wisdom? v 5 a

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him . . . "

A. Those . . Lacking. "But if any of you lacks wisdom,. . . "

1. Note verse 4 ". . . lacking in nothing."

Strong’s # 3007 leipo (li’-po); a primary verb; to leave, i.e. (intransitively or passively) to fail or be absent: KJV-- be destitute (wanting), lack.

B. Those . . Letting. "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him . . . "

1. There is a voluntary aspect to the asking.

a. Let in James 17 times, In gospels 95 times, and in NT 317 times.

Matthew 5:16 (NASB) "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

John 14:27 (NASB) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.


Roy Edgeman the director of the discipleship division for the Southern Baptist Convention tells a story about learning to pray. A missionary shared at an associational meeting concerning the prayer life of a Christian. The Spirit of God quickened Roy to seek more. He wrote a note and ask for the missionary to stay after and teach him more.

Roy folded the note and wrote the missionary’s name on it. As it passed down the isle toward the missionary Roy best friend, Bill Hogue, opened it and read it. He then took out a pencil and added to the note. Roy said I really did not appreciate Bill reading my note. Then he learned that Bill added the words "me too."


Who needs to pray? All of us. We everyone are lacking. We all need wisdom and especially wisdom in prayer.

2. What should we ask about Wisdom? v 5 b

". . . lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, . . . "

A. We should ask for . . Wisdom.

The word wisdom is found 52 times in NT. 18 times in 1 Cor, 4 in James


Strong’s # 4678 sophia (sof-ee’-ah); from 4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual): KJV-- wisdom. (DIC)

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