James 4:13-18 “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. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 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. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
A preacher said, “When I was a young minister, a funeral director asked me to hold a graveside service for a homeless man with no family or friends. The funeral was to be at a cemetery way out in the country. This was a new cemetery and this man was the first to be laid to rest there. I was not familiar with the area and became lost. Being a typical man, of course I did not ask for directions.
“I finally found the cemetery an hour later. The backhoe was there, and the crew was eating their lunch. The hearse was nowhere to be seen. I apologized to the workers for being late. As I looked into the open grave, I saw a vault lid already in place. I told the workers I would not keep them long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers, still eating their lunch, gathered around the opening. I was young and poured my heart out as I preached. The workers joined in with, ‘Praise the Lord, Amen, and Glory’. I got so into the service that I preached, and preached, and preached. From Genesis to the Revelation.
“When the service was over I said a prayer and walked to my car. As I opened the door, I heard one of the workers say, ‘I have never seen something like that in my life, and I have been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.'”
Everyone needs wisdom for life, both young and old. Wisdom will help us keep from making certain mistakes in life, and especially if we receive the wisdom that is from above. The wisdom from above is good humble, pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, sincere, impartial and full of good fruit. What a list of things to be. Wisdom deals with how we live, not so much with what we know. There are a lot of educated people out there without the wisdom of God.
Words of wisdom from Wilbur Chapman: “The rule that governs my life is this: Anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible Study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it.” That is true wisdom!
As soon as children are old enough to speak, one of the first questions asked is, “How big are you?” Children always give the same answer, “I’m soooo big!” They usually raise their hands to get additional stature, as if to say, “I am huge, I am enormous.” This is not a scientific answer. You can’t fit it in every context. For example, if your spouse asks “Does this make me look big?”, don’t say, “Soooo big!” We say this to our children because we want them to realize they are growing. We know that the way they think of themselves matters. We don’t want them to think of themselves as small, weak, and lacking adequate strength to handle the challenges of life. But more important, how big is our God? How big is Christ in our lives?
John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”
Romans 13:12 “The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light.”
Our responsibility is to keep our behavior in such a manner that we glorify God, trusting God to work out our situations. This involves faith that God can make lemonade out of lemons.
Someone said giving our all to the Lord is like taking a 1000 dollar bill, laying it out on the table and saying, “Here’s my life, Lord. I’m giving it all.” But the reality for most of us is that God sends us to the bank and has us cash in the 1000 dollars for quarters. We go through life 25 cents at a time, and 50 cents at a time. We listen to the neighbor’s kids’ troubles, we go to a committee meeting, we give someone a glass of water that can’t get one themselves. Usually giving our lives to Christ isn’t glorious acts, it’s little ones of love, 25 cents at a time. It is handling difficult situations with the wisdom that Christ gives.
James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Consider it pure joy; that is not usually what I consider it. How can I be joyful unless I put my trust in Jesus and trust Him for the victory?
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