Summary: 1. I make the right requests (vs. 1-3). 2. I form the right friendships (vs. 4-5). 3. I receive the gift of God’s grace (vs. 6-7a & 10). 4. I trust in the promise of God’s power (vs. 7b).
Christianity Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Part 9: Good Signs of Godly Wisdom
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 15, 2012
*Everybody needs Godly wisdom. And last time, the key verse for us was James 3:17, which tells us that the wisdom from above “is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
*Now in James 4, God shows us some of the practical impact His wisdom should have on our lives. And in the Scripture tonight we can see some good signs of Godly wisdom. Thinking about this background, lets’ read James 4:1-10.
*Signs are important. Have you ever gotten into trouble, because you didn’t see a sign? I almost did about a year ago, but thankfully the officer only gave me a warning.
*Signs are important, and this is certainly true in our spiritual lives. How do I know if I have Godly wisdom? James gives us some good signs.
1. First: I make the right requests. Godly wisdom leads me to make the right requests.
*James has already warned us about the natural, wicked wisdom of this world. Starting in James 3:13, he said:
13. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
14. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there.
*Now here in James 4, God’s Word begins to show us some of the worst ugliness that can come from worldly wisdom:
1. Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
*Do we ever see wars and fights among Christian brothers and sisters? -- Sadly, sometimes the answer is yes. We see how ugly it can get in vs. 2: “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”
*Does he literally mean that Christians can get to the point that they could kill each other? -- In the most extreme circumstances, yes. But remember that 1 John 3:15 says that whoever hates his brother is a murderer. In other words, he has the same spirit as a murderer.
*Our fussing and fighting may not kill someone’s body. But it can very easily kill friendships, dreams, opportunities and possibilities. This ugliness is the natural result of being led by the evil, selfish wisdom of this world.
*But there is more ugliness to see here. In vs. 2&3 James talks about our prayer life and says:
2. . . You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
3. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
*In vs. 2, worldly wisdom puts an end to our prayer life. Then in vs. 3, worldly wisdom poisons our prayer life.
*But we don’t have to be led by the wisdom of this world. And Godly wisdom will put power in our prayer life. That’s because God’s wisdom will lead us to pray both regularly and righteously. Godly wisdom will lead us to make the right requests.
*Think of the wonderful prayers we find in the Word of God. One of many examples is Paul’s prayer in Eph 1:15-20. There Paul said:
15. Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16. do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
17. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
18. the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19. and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
20. which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
*These prayer requests are the result of Godly wisdom. It leads us to pray regularly and righteously.
-We can pray for everyday things and eternal things.
-We can pray for mundane things and miraculous things, trusting God to always do the right thing.
*How do I know if I have Godly wisdom? -- I make the right requests.