Summary: Wisdom from God is above the wisdom of the world. Obtain and live by that wisdom.
1. A wise choice:
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?
2. A warning: 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.”
3. Wisdom comes from God – 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.”
a. 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.
b. Oral Law – 50 to give counsel; 60 to be an elder
4. James 3.13-18
5. Worldly Wisdom or Godly Wisdom – Our Choice
I. The Godly Wise Are Stimulated to Righteousness (Acts of Good) – 3.13
A. We Are to be “Good Samaritans”
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 5 people on the doomed ship.
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.
1. Luke 10.25-37
a. Torah-scholar wanted to justify HIMSELF
b. Mistreatment by fellow Jews
c. Good actions by the hated Samaritan (who hated Jews?) – loving neighbor is not necessarily LIKING him
d. BE a neighbor
e. NOT JUST KNOWING -- ACTING
B. We are to Act in Humility
1. Humility Towards God
In 1863 President Lincoln designated April 30th as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. Let me read a portion of his proclamation on that occasion:
"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, who owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by a history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. The awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown, but we have forgotten God."
2. Humility Towards others – Matthew 25.31-40
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’