Summary: Today, we talk about Wisdom.
Live Different: Wisdom
Today, we talk about Wisdom. It is interesting that in the Old Testament – mainly in the Book of Proverbs (a book of wisdom sayings) – The ever-enduring value of WISDOM is contrasted with the fleeting and often allusive value of silver & gold:
13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
18 With [wisdom] are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
Today we focus on WISDOM. In order to Live Different, one of the major goals of our lives must be the seeking of wisdom. Proverbs is full of verses calling us to the pursuit of wisdom. It is an essential ingredient to the successful Christian life.
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
1. The Invitation
“If any of you…”
God’s wisdom is available to his children, but they must sense the need, ask, and receive it. Wisdom, like patience, is not automatically applied. Not just the rich, not just the poor, not just the ones who serve God, not just the babes in Christ. It says, “if ANY of you” – ‘anyone.”
So, right off the bat, this message is applicable to everyone in this building and listening to me by TV, internet, or radio. Fathers, Mothers, Children, Grandmothers, Grandfathers – anyone.
2. The Application
James 1:5a “If any of you lacks wisdom…”
It says, “If any of you” find yourself in this situation, THEN let me tell you what you have to do…you are going to have to do something…you will need to take some action, take some steps, to find what it is that God wants you to do in seeking wisdom. In gaining this all important tool in living the life that God has for us.
We need to realize that while God is the source of our strength, the source of our power, we don’t automatically have everything we need right off the bat in order to face life. We must tap into that power, tap into that strength.
In Matthew 10:1, when Jesus chose his 12 Disciples, He gave them the power & authority to do miraculous things: “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
So, they had authority, right?
They had access to the power, right?
So, they’ll always be victorious in overcoming the challenges they faced, right?
Matthew 17:14-21 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Just because God provides the power, you must tap into that power! You must seek it with all of your heart.
James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Remember, last Sunday, I said that this phrase “lacking nothing” means that if you learn patience, you will “not deficient with regard to spiritual strength.” You will be made perfect and complete.
BUT NOTICE THE VERY NEXT PHRASE IN VERSE FIVE -
James 1:5a “If any of you lacks wisdom…”
So, which is it?? Will I lack nothing…OR… am I lacking something??