SUNDAY, 15TH SEPTEMBER, 2019
THEME: WISDOM FROM ABOVE
READINGS: JAMES 3:13-18; LUKE 11:29-32
I employ you to read these bible verses with patience and concentration-James 3: 13-18. You can also check out other versions for better understanding.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ESV.
The above passage presents to us different types of wisdom. One comes from above while the other comes from below. The difference between these two types of wisdom is their sources. And because they have different sources, they produce different results. From our passage, we see how Apostle James took his time to explain the characteristics of these types of wisdom.
Worldly Wisdom: this type has the following characteristics-
Envy (14a) it is a selfish ambition. It is a sense of being unhappy because someone is better than you. A resentful desire of something possessed by another or others. A situation whereby one feels displeasure or hatred towards someone for his fortune or possession. Sometimes, people Christianised it to means zeal for the best…., aspiration for the best in life, they say, God wants me to always the best … I must always ne ahead… etc.
How to know whether your zeal is spiritual or carnal? Let me ask you:-
Do you rejoice when others succeed or are you angry?
Do you criticize others or build them up?
Do we feel burdened when others fail or are we secretly pleased? Check yourself.
Strife (14b)- this is self-seeking, creates rivalry and division in the church. The concept of tribalism and factionism. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory. Boasting (14c)- Are you proud, or do you put others before yourself? Boasting usually involves lies.
When God’s wisdom is at work there is a sense of humility and submission and you want God to get all the glory
Deceit (14d)- this is common now. Until we know that life is not read in press releases; it is read by the Lord by the state of our hearts, we may not see reason to be truthful. Spiritual wisdom is true because God is always true
While Spiritual Wisdom has the following:
Meekness (13)- this can be simply put as strength under control. Meek person seeks the glory of God and not the praises of man. It is the Fruit of the spirit and cannot be manufactured. Meekness is the right use of power and wisdom is the right use of knowledge. Attitude and action go together
Purity (17a) It means holiness. That is, someone or something free from defilement. God’s wisdom leads to purity of life while man’s wisdom leads to sin. Man looks for ways to cheat and cut corners.
Peace (v.17b)- look at the world, it won’t take you time to notice that man’s wisdom leads to competition, rivalry and war. Man constantly runs a race that has no end in pursuit of satisfaction and primacy. It always results to frustrations and unsettled mind. Only God’s wisdom leads to peace. Peace based on holiness not compromise. We don’t need to compromise what we believe in to have peace and unity with others. Rather, we are to stand out showing the pace.
Gentleness (v. 17c)– this is talking about moderation without compromise, gentleness without weakness. Gentle person does not deliberately cause fights; neither does he compromise the truth.
Compliance (17d)-God’s wisdom makes believers agreeable and easy to live with godly principles despites the state of the world. Earthly wisdom makes any man incorrigible, hard, and stubborn to the will of God. This is because, most times, humanly speaking, it looks nonsensical to obey God.
Mercy (17e)- God is in His grace gives us what we do not deserve and in His mercy doesn’t give us what we deserve. What a perfect example to follow. Doing something not for repayment, but because it is the will of God just like the Good Samaritan.
Good fruits (v. 17f)-God’s wisdom is practical; it changes life and produces good works to the glory of God
Decisiveness (v. 17g):- it has to do with singleness of mind, opposite of wavering. When you have God’s wisdom you need not to waver because you are sure of what will become of you.
Sincerity (v. 17h):- It means not being a hypocrite, being open and honest, always speaking the truth in love. It does not go in line with what the world calls SMARTNESS.
The most important thing we are to do is measure our lives by the wisdom of God and not by the wisdom of man. The wisdom of man only produces trouble while God’s wisdom produces blessing (v.18)
Beloved, as Christians, we are called to bear fruit. Fruit is the product of life. Fruit has in it seeds for more fruit. This week, let it be your decision to pursue the wisdom of God and apply it in your day to day enterprise. I assure you of a rewarding result. Remember, as you live in God’s wisdom, you are actually sharing the fruit of God with others, they are fed and as well share with others.
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding “Prov 3:13’’
Until next week, remain blessed.