6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: James gives an additional description of the truly wise person versus the unwise person. 1- The wise person is marked by good 2- The unwise person is tainted by evil 3- The wise person is stirred by heaven

INTRO.- ILL.- An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom or beauty. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom.

"Done!" says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning. Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. At length, one of his colleagues whispers, "Say something."

The dean looks at them and says, "I should have taken the money."

That’s what most would have chosen in the first place. Many people think that money is the answer to all their problems. If this is true then why do the rich and famous have so many problems? Why do they often divorce? Why do they use and abuse drugs?

I Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

If a person is looking for a better life in the love of money they are looking in the wrong place. WHO SAYS SO? GOD!

ILL.- Someone said: You don’t have to be listed in Who’s Who to know what’s what. And especially, if you go by the Word of God.

The wisdom of God is found in His Word. It’s always smart and safe to go by His Word.

Job 12:12-13 “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.”

Normally, we think of wisdom as coming from the aged because they lived longer and experienced more. But not all senior citizens are wise. But to God belongs true wisdom and great power.

Job 28:28 “And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’” Amen! How true! To fear, honor and respect the Lord is truly wise. To shun evil is a smart thing to do. A wise deed indeed!

Psalm 104:24 “How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”

Can we begin to understand the works of God? How could He create such diversity among the animals in the world? What a wise and intelligent God we believe in!

PROP.- James gives an additional description of the truly wise person versus the unwise person.

1- The wise person is marked by good

2- The unwise person is tainted by evil

3- The wise person is stirred by heaven


13 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. Are you doing any good in life?

Acts 10:38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

ILL.- Tom Cruise played good Samaritan several times in 1996. After witnessing a hit-and-run accident in L.A., he called 911 and stayed with the victim until help arrived. When he found out she had no health insurance, Cruise picked up the $7000 medical bill.

Later that year, Cruise and then-wife Nicole Kidman were on their yacht near Capri when they spotted a boat nearby catch fire and sink. The couple was able to rescue all five people aboard the doomed ship.

Wow! Hollywood celebrities aren’t the only people who can do good, however. WE CAN TOO! We may not be able to pay someone’s $7000 medical bill but we can do good to others. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open to those in need.

Galatians 6:9-10 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I Timothy 6:17-18 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”

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