Summary: With God’s help, we can be faithfully committed: doing what we said we would do.
Devoted to God’s Wisdom
James 1:5-8, 22
With God’s help, we can be faithfully committed: doing what we said we would do.
• Today we will tackle a subject that seems to be in short supply these days.
• Given the subject matter of last week, standing firm amid trials, what we will discuss today can help one to be able to count it a joy when we face various trials.
• In these times of turmoil, we need something to anchor ourselves. The question is to what will we anchor ourselves?
• What will you build your life upon?
• When you face the proverbial fork in the road, where do you go for wisdom and direction?
• The underlying thought of this series is the issue of devotion, being devoted to God no matter what happens in this life.
• That can be very difficult to do, especially when life throws you a curveball.
• Last week we spoke of the heroic endurance we need to possess to be able to have stand firm and to have victory over the trials we face.
• That endurance is designed to help us not to be lacking in any area of our relationship with Jesus, yet there is one thing we can lack if we are not careful, the issue of wisdom.
• Where do you turn to when you are struggling for answers in life?
• Where do you turn when seeking direction for something in your life?
• It is interesting to me that with the advent of Google, and WebMD, how many of us will take our symptoms to those places and try to diagnose ourselves.
• Who needs medical school, we have WebMD, right!
• Who needs plumbers, electricians, builders, mechanics? We have Google and Youtube!
• In Matthew 7:24–27, Jesus urges his followers to build their lives on his words, which, like a rock, will allow them to stand strong during flood rains and winds.
• The foundation built on the rock far better, He says than building their lives on a foundation of sand that will be washed away.
• A few chapters later in Matthew 14:22–33, Peter sees Jesus walking on the sea and gets out of the boat to join him.
• The wind gets the better of Peter, however, and in his fear and doubt, he begins to sink.
• These are just a few times the Bible uses imagery of standing strong in the Lord rather than being blown about by waves and wind.
• Jesus knows what a temptation this is for us; after all, he lived a human life!
• Suffice to say, we need help, and we need to know where to turn for that help.
• We need the gift of wisdom to be able to navigate through the difficulties of life on this earth successfully.
• Wisdom is an essential word in the Bible; the word means more than intellectual knowledge. Wisdom is less “knowing that” than “knowing how.” (College Press Commentary Series)
• Remember the context; the context is being able to face trials with pure joy.
• A person with knowledge KNOWS THAT is how we are supposed to face trials.
• The person with wisdom KNOWS HOW to put that knowledge into action.
• The word implies a skill in living that is passed down from parent to child and has its ultimate source in God.
• One is reminded of the Wisdom books in the Old Testament—Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job—that say, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7).
• On the one hand, Proverbs urges one to be always “turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding” (Proverbs 2:2); on the other, it reminds, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). (College Press Commentary)
• We will be in James 1:5-8 and verse 22!
• Let’s begin with verse 5
James 1:5 (CSB)
5Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God?—?who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly?—?and it will be given to him.
1. I. The source of wisdom.
• Have you ever plowed through a Facebook post on any subject?
• It does not matter which subject, but if the question is politics or religion, the “conversation” can be quite colorful at times.
• It amazes me that a group of people can read the same article, or see the same picture, witness the same event, and yet interpret the issues in so many different ways.
• When this happens, the result is usually war.
• This scenario can happen when someone reaches out for counsel on where to get their hair done or what gym you should consider making your monthly donation to (Jaguar Fitness!)