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Summary: How to pray for Godly wisdom (4 requests)

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The Godly Wisdom We Need - Part 1

James 3:13-18

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - July 25, 2010

*We had an outstanding Vacation Bible School this summer. Sometimes the leaders would call out to the children: “Need Answers?” -- And the kids would reply: “Ask God!” This theme was based on the promise in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

*Need Answers? -- Ask God! We can ask God for anything we need, but according to James 1:5, one of the most important things we need is wisdom, God’s kind of wisdom. Let’s ask Him for it today with four prayer requests, -- four requests based on the truth we find in James 3.

1. The first prayer request is: God help us overcome the problem of worldly wisdom.

*Starting in vs. 13, James helps us to see that all wisdom is not from above. James asks:

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.

*The “self-seeking” he talks about here is “strife” in the KJV. -- It means a contentious heart, somebody looking for a fight, politicking in a bad way.

-It’s a factional spirit, seeking to jockey for position.

-It leads to doing things with an ulterior motive, even by conspiracy and deceit.

*And in vs. 15-16, James says:

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.

*All wisdom is not from above, and we must overcome the problem of worldly wisdom. In this chapter, James has just finished giving us the example of the evil that can come from our tongue. Please look starting in vs. 2:

2. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

3. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.

4. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.

5. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

*Our tongues produce all kinds of evil misery, when they are led by the ungodly wisdom in our hearts. And unfortunately, we are all born with this sinful, selfish, worldly wisdom.

*Sometimes Mary and I like to watch “The Family Feud.” -- Once they had a question about little babies: What are the first words that little babies learn?

-Top 4 answers on the board: #1 was “Mama,” #2 was “Dada.” The 4th answer was “baba” for “bottle.”


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