Summary: Real Faith Will Sow Peace Series: Real Faith (Book of James) Brad Bailey – October 25, 2020
Real Faith Will Sow Peace
Series: Real Faith (Book of James)
Brad Bailey – October 25, 2020
Hey everybody. I’m so glad you are joining in today. I think we tend to underestimate how much significance there is in showing up itself. It’s been said that “all success begins with showing up.”
And I believe that every time we choose to join in gathering before God... there is a significant underlying spiritual choice being made. When we gather...even online...we gather to explore what it means to know God...and glorify God.. So the choice to gather itself...to give ourselves to this time... is itself a significant choice...a choice to not avoid the role of God in our lives... but rather to dare and face who God is and what it means to align our lives with him. It really IS significant that you and I are taking time to come before God.
And we are continuing in a series entitled REAL FAITH...in which God is speaking to us... through the Biblical Book of James. It’s written by James....who was a half-brother of Jesus himself. James brings forth the nature of what we could call real faith. ... as notably different than just so called “religious beliefs.” It’s a challenge to understand that real faith is faith in action... faith that changes how we actually live.
Many have noted how relevant the themes in this book can be. And today really speaks to this time of intense social conflict.
This week I’ve been reminded of our nations historic Civil War... left in in bloody tragedy... 750,000 lives lost ... over half to disease... nearly half... never identified.
When it was finally over... what President Abraham Lincoln saw...was that this was a moment that was not just about who won...but about so much that was lost. He understood the significance of what was settled... but he also understood the sobering truth that the war reflected a shared and tragic failure. When those created to live as one people ... destroy one another... no one wins. When those who are fundamentally bound by so much common ground can’t find it... it is a tragedy.
When Lincoln looked at the carnage at hand ... he knew that the cause was substantial .....but when 750,000 lives are lost... an entire generation is all but wiped out in the south... he grasped that there was little to be celebrating....little to be proud of. 
Essentially... he stepped back...and grasped a higher view.
And today we are called to step back...and grasp a higher view.
Many have described our current state as approaching a civil war. I don’t believe that we will enter into anything that compares to the historic Civil War. The real comparison is how much people have defined sides of a war... defined who is “us” and who is “them.”
We are in the final days of our national election...which concludes in just 9 days. It’s an election that has accentuated how the major political parties have stepped further apart It seems like everyone has left the space of common ground...and withdrawn into their group affirming castles... pulled up their drawbridge.... and is simply accepting the inevitable casualties of war.
Today... I believe that God is calling us to step back...and grasp a higher view. Today in James chapter 3, God calls us to a faith that sows peace, and even tells us what to sow.
Let’s listen to James 3:13-18 as we look at a faith that sows peace.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Here James speaks about the false wisdom of this world...and the true wisdom from above. Wisdom is about understanding. If knowledge is about information... about being informed... wisdom is about understanding that information... about understanding what is truly going on...and what is truly good.
Now, let me just pause there and point out that God says that real wisdom is seen in your relationships. He begins by saying that If you are a truly wise and understanding person, it will be seen in your life by the good deeds that you do out of the humility that always comes from wisdom.” Whether you're wise or whether you're foolish is not what shows up on some test you take at school but what shows up in how you relate to other people. Wisdom shows up, God says, in relationships. So, I don't care how much money you've made in life or how successful you are, if your relationships are strained or they're weak or they're hurting, you're not very wise.