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Summary: We all face problems in life. Many times we choose to rely on our own wisdom or the wisdom of someone else. This sermon urges us to go to God.

Could You Use Some Wisdom?

James 1:1-8

1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.

2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Abraham Lincoln said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day."

We all face problems in life.

No matter how much education we might have...

No matter how many years of experience in life we might have...

There are always things that come up that puzzle us.

Whether it’s problems in the family...at work...in the church...

Or problems in our personal lives...

We don’t always have the answers to the problem.

The Bible says we don’t have to face our problems alone!

Some of us might be tempted to go to Brother Bill.

He’s been around for a long time.

He has had many experiences in his life!

That’s not wrong, but Bill doesn’t know it all!

Some people go to their pastors for wisdom.

Nothing wrong with that, but I certainly don’t know it all!

Some people go buy a book on the subject they need help with.

Well, I’ve seen some pretty poor advice in books!

Some people go to a close friend for advice.

Friends don’t always have the answer either!

When we need answers to problems, we can go to the Lord.

The Bible says God will give us wisdom.

What is wisdom?

Webster defines it as "the ability to make right use of knowledge."

One of my Bible dictionary defines wisdom as "prudent, considered, experienced, and competent action to master the various problems of life..."

My definition of wisdom is this: Wisdom is the union of knowledge and skill which enables a person to make right choices that honor God.

True wisdom, according to Scripture, begins with God.

Proverbs 1:7 says the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

If a person does not know God...

who created all things...revealed truth...

and established absolute values,

then he cannot be wise.

How could a person make right choices without knowing God?

Proverbs tells us that fools hate knowledge.

The fool is the person whose choices contradict God’s truth.

The fool ignores God’s value system.

The fool makes poor choices.

Today’s story is about a woman named Sally Meade. Sally was a contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?". She had reached the final plateau. If she answered the next question correctly, she would win $1,000,000. If she answered incorrectly, she would receive only $25,000. As she suspected the Million Dollar Question wasn’t easy. It was, "Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest, but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds? Is it: A) the condor. B) the turkey buzzard. C) the cuckoo. D) the mockingbird.

Now, some of you know the answer to that question...

Because I preached a sermon on one of those birds.

However, Sally didn’t hear that sermon!

Will Sally have the wisdom to win $1 million dollars?

We’ll find out later!

Let’s look more closely at what James says regarding wisdom.

Point #1. Life creates a demand for wisdom.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom...

There are going to be times...

when we do not know exactly what choice to make...

or how to handle a given situation.

I’ve had that happen to me numerous times!

We often find ourselves lacking wisdom.

This shortage of wisdom could be in many different problems.

* Financial problems

* Family problems

* Relationship problems

* Work problems

We may have several options to take.

Sally has 4 choices...and we often have choices to make.

Which one is the correct answer to the problem?

Application:

Now, this is very important to understand.

If you do not face up to your lack of wisdom,

you will never ask for it.

The arrogant person thinks he never needs counsel.

The foolish person refuses to admit his/her need for wisdom.

Let’s get back to our story about Sally Meade!

Sally was on the spot. She did not know the answer. She had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her Ask the Audience Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend Lifeline. She called her friend and gave her the question and the four choices. The friend responded unhesitatingly: "That’s easy. The answer is C: the cuckoo."

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