1. Hello, listening friends. We are delighted you have joined us again.
2. I want to begin by reminding you that it is no secret for any of us that modern society moves very quickly:
3. therefore, the idea of waiting on God’s will can be contrary to every natural inclination that we know.
4. We work hard and we work long to achieve quick success;
5. then, God comes along and says, “Wait.”
6. What do we do?
7. We squirm with frustration.
8. I’m not saying that waiting on the Lord is easy,
9. but we often want to move much faster than He plans.
10. What God often does, is make waiting to be our only option.
12. He wants to teach us to trust Him completely.
13. Learning to be dependent on the wisdom from above may mean following the admonition of Psalm 27:14:
14. “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.”
15. A major reason why there are so many frustrated Christians is because they have different timetables from God’s timetable;
16. and that is why James tells us, in Chapter 3, verse 13,
PLEASE READ HERE JAMES 3:13.
17. We saw in our last message that it is not enough that you have knowledge in your head,
18. because knowledge enables you to take things apart, but wisdom enables you to put things together.
19. Knowledge opens us up to the truth, but wisdom enables us to relate God’s truth in our daily life.
20. Wisdom that comes from God is a wisdom which God intends for His people to have and seek after;
21. and that is why James follows up the same theme from the last message, which he started in Chapter 3, verse 1.
22. “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers…”
23. then, he goes on to verse 13 and says, “Who is wise and understanding among you?”
24. Godly wisdom means being God-centered, instead of self-centered.
25. There are basically three truths to live by.
26. Number one,
27. God is the Creator, so He stands in the beginning of things.
28. Number two,
29. God is faithful, so He stands in the center of things.
30. Number three,
31. God is the Judge. He stands at the end of things.
32. To face life with these convictions is to be on the highway to victory, an exercise of godly wisdom.
33. Can a believer operate his or her life on Satan’s wisdom?
34. Unfortunately, the answer is "yes."
35. Although James is speaking to teachers whose hearts are not focused on things of the Lord, his words apply to all believers.
36. Look at James 3:14 to 16.
PLEASE READ JAMES 3:14-16 HERE.
37. James’ reasoning is very simple.
38. When our hearts are filled with bitter jealously and selfish ambitions, our judgment is impaired.
39. Bitterness and jealousy and ambitions short-circuit good judgment.
40. We cannot be relied on. We cannot be objective. Our motives color our responses.
41. Jealousy and selfish ambition are bad enough in the secular world; but, when they run rampant in the church, tragedy is born.
42. What brings about bitter jealousy?
43. Most often, it comes from a feeling of being used by other people.
44. Let me tell you a quick story.
45. It’s a story about two men who lived in a certain city.
46. One was envious, and the other was covetous.
47. The ruler of the city sent for them and said that he wanted to grant them one wish each;
48. but there was one provision:
49. that the person who chooses first would get exactly what he asked for, while the other one gets exactly twice what the first one has asked for.
50. The envious man was to choose first.
51. He immediately found himself in a quandary.
52. He wanted to choose something great for himself; but he realized that, if he did, the other would get twice as much.
53. He thought for a while, and, then, he asked that one of his eyes should be put out;
54. but, you see, jealousy and envy are deadly characteristics.
55. What about selfish ambitions?
56. Selfish ambition clouds our judgment.
57. Selfish ambition wrecked many churches;
58. and, when selfish ambition worms its way into marriage relationships, the consequences can be appalling.
59. Division among family members, or church members, runs rampant when selfish ambitions rule the hearts of men and women.
60. The tragedy is that the person who is envious and has selfish ambition never rests.
61. There is always someone else to envy,
62. another mountain to climb,
63. another position to obtain.
64. They are never happy.
65. There is unholy restlessness about a person who is eaten with envy and selfish ambition.
66. No wonder the Apostle Paul tells us, in Philippians 2:14 and 15, “Do everything without murmuring or strife so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.”
67. There is almost no limit to the sins that follow envy and selfish ambition.
68. James tells us that worldly wisdom is earthly,
69. which means it is a product of the world’s system.
70. Worldly wisdom is unspiritual.
71. It does not come from the Holy Spirit.
72. Worldly wisdom is demonic.
73. It is of the evil and it will utterly lead to division, destruction and defeat.
74. Satan is its source and he thrives on its consequences.
75. What happens when we use worldly wisdom in trying to do God’s work?
76. The end result is very disappointing.
77. Not only will it come to nothing on earth, but it will lead to nothing in Heaven.
78. The wisdom that comes from Hell will not get us to Heaven.
79. Now, contrast this with the wisdom that comes from above in verses 17 and 18.
PLEASE READ JAMES 3:17-18 HERE.
80. Because God is the Creator of wisdom, He is the only One Who can produce it in us.
81. James tells us about eight qualities of godly wisdom.
82. Look at James 3:17.
83. First of all, it is pure.
84. Because purity comes first, it becomes the fundamental criterion of wisdom.
85. Purity is not the outward expression, but an inner experience.
86. God examines our hearts before He looks at our hands.
87. God’s primary concern is what we are, more than what we do.
88. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
89. Because the heart is the very center of our personality, and the very source of our outward activities, it is the heart, therefore, that God is interested in.
90. Secondly, godly wisdom has peace.
91. It is only when the heart is pure that peaceable existence becomes possible.
92. A person who lives with inner turmoil is a person who does not know God’s wisdom that comes from Him.
93. If you are devoted to purity, you will experience peace;
94. and we can never have peace by sweeping sins under the carpet, and pretend that they are not there.
95. False wisdom says, "Cover it up. Keep things together."
96. God’s wisdom says, "Confess sin."
97. Third thing about God’s wisdom -- it is gentleness.
98. Someone called it "sweet reasonableness."
99. It means moderation without compromise.
1. It means gentleness without weakness.
2. Fourthly, obedience.
3. Some translations call it "compliance."
4. God’s wisdom makes the believer agreeable and easy to live with and work with.
5. Man’s wisdom makes a person hard and stubborn and cynical.
6. The compliant person can disagree without being disagreeable;
7. then, the fifth quality of godly wisdom is mercy.
8. To be full of mercy means to be controlled by mercy.
9. Mercy has double-meaning, here.
10. The first meaning is that you have to have a forgiving spirit towards those who have wronged you;
11. and the second meaning is that you give practical help to those in need.
12. “Be merciful,” said Jesus, “as your Father in Heaven also is merciful.”
13. The sixth quality is faithfulness.
14. When you live by worldly wisdom, you cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, because you are too busy wallowing in self-pity;
15. but godly wisdom compels us to bear wisdom in our lives and the lives of our family members and the lives of those who are close to us.
16. The seventh characteristic is decisiveness.
17. In some translations, it is translated, "no partiality" or "showing no favoritism."
18. This word suggests single-mindedness.
19. It is the opposite of wavering.
20. When you live with the world’s wisdom, you want to be a people-pleaser.
21. You change your mind often and you are pressed from side to side.
22. When you have God’s wisdom, you have conviction and purpose.
23. Finally, the eighth quality of godly wisdom is sincerity.
24. It literally means "without hypocrisy."
25. Hypocrisy originally meant "a dialogue;"
26. then, it came to mean "playing the part of an actor."
27. The heart of the word is "pretending to be something that one is not."
28. When you practice God’s wisdom, you don’t have to be afraid of being who you are.
29. You don’t have to put on a special mask.
30. If you are growing up in Jesus Christ, your life will reflect these eight qualities.
31. Wisdom from above can be truly yours only if you humble yourself enough to receive it,
32. and to be patient enough for God to reveal His will to you;
33. so, James’ final exhortation in verse 18 is this:
34. Bitterness and strife produce barren soil in which the seed of righteousness cannot grow.
35. On the other hand, as he told us in Chapter 1, if you want God’s wisdom, God already promised to give it to you, if you humbly ask for it.
36. It is my prayer that you ask for it, today;
37. and, until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.