Summary: 1. Pursue the Lord (vs. 8a). 2. Purify your life (vs. 8b). 3. Ponder your own shortcomings (vs. 9-10). 4. Put an end to evil speaking (vs. 11-12). 5. Plan as if your life is in God’s Hands (vs. 13-16). 6. Practice what you know (vs. 17).
Christianity Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Part 10: Growing in God’s Wisdom
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 22, 2012
*Everybody needs Godly wisdom. We can see this so clearly in Scriptures like 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.”
*We all need God’s wisdom. And He promised to give us all we need in James 1:5. But there are also some important things we need to do to grow in God’s wisdom. Thinking about that, lets’ read James 4:8-17.
8. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
11. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
13. Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit";
14. whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
15. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
16. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
*How can we grow in Godly wisdom? -- The Holy Spirit spends the last half of James 4 showing us how, and we see six ways.
1. First: Pursue the Lord.
*As James said in vs. 8a: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. . .” Draw close to God. And when you do, you will find out that He was close by you all the time.
*King David made this clear in Psalm 139, when he said:
7. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8. If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10. Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
*We can be as close to God as we want to be, because He is here all the time.
*There is a neat phrase in the Old Testament that helps us see how close we can be to God: “The apple of God’s eye.” Deuteronomy 32:9-10 says:
9. . . The LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
10 He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.
*And in Psalm 17:8-9, David prayed these words:
7. Show Your marvelous loving kindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You From those who rise up against them.
8. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
*“Keep me as the apple of Your eye.” Eddie Snipes tells us that the word picture is for someone to be so close to you, that you can look into their eyes and see your own reflection. That’s how close God wants to be to you. And we can be as close to God as we want to be, because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead.
*But how do we draw close to Him?
-By receiving Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord.
-By focusing on Jesus.
-By fellowshipping with Him through Scripture and prayer.
-By coming to Him as a little child in trust and love.
*Draw close to God in prayer and in praise.
-Draw close to God in worship and in His Word.
-Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.
*If you want to grow in Godly wisdom, pursue the Lord.
2. And purify your life.
*As James said in vs. 8b: “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”