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

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.”

*Guess what the #3 answer was. -- It was “NO!” And when you think about it, isn’t that amazing? One of the first words babies ever learn is, “No.” But we are born with a streak of stubbornness. And once we make up our mind, sometimes we stubbornly stick with that decision.

*Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s a good thing to say “no.” But when we say “no” to something good we are just in stubborn rebellion, especially when we say “no” to God. We need to face up to the truth that we were all born with this evil, worldly wisdom. It shows up in the things we say.

*How big is this problem? -- So big that it is impossible for us to fix it on our own.

7. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.

8. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

*No man can tame the tongue. We will never overcome the evil in our hearts without the help of Almighty God.

-God help us overcome the problem of worldly wisdom.

2. And help us have the purity of Godly wisdom.

*It’s the purity James mentioned in vs. 17 when he said “The wisdom that is from above is first pure.” -- This word “pure” comes from the same root-word as “holy,” so Godly wisdom is clean, innocent, modest, holy, pure.

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