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Single Minded Committment

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SERMON NOTES:  9/17/06

JAMES 1:5-8

SINGLE-MINDED COMMITMENT

I.                     

II.                 What is lacking?

a.       What do you need in trial?  It’s not what you think.       

                                                               i.      Faith? Endurance? Strength?

                                                             ii.      Wisdom!

b.      Wisdom: Broad range of usages in Bible

                                                               i.      OT: Could refer to cleverness or cunning. Used of a skill, ability or mastery

                                                             ii.      Today: The ability to apply knowledge.  Philosophical insight

                                                            iii.      James: Wisdom has an ethical component

1.      3:13-17.  The ability to understand and act accordingly

2.      Understanding (from God’s perspective) the right thing to do.

3.      Warren Wiersbe: That I would not waste this opp God has given me to mature.

c.       Where do we find such a thing?

                                                               i.      Job 28

1.      Simple but not simplistic

2.      We go to God not our friends

3.      Wisdom is not automatic it is to be asked for.

d.      The Nature of God      

                                                               i.      The answer to our prayer in trial is founded upon God’s character

1.      He is generous, non-condemning.

                                                             ii.      Generous

1.      He gives w/o measure

2.      Simply.

a.       Word used only here in NT.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Root=simple or single.

                                                                                                                                     ii.      NT.  Sincere or undivided.  Single-minded commitment to God.

b.      Douglas Moo: “

c.       Evidence suggests that James is not so much highlighting God’s generosity in giving as His single, undivided intent to give us that which we need to please Him.”

3.      W/o scolding or criticizing.

a.       Men often give w/ discontented muttering which degrades and wounds.

e.       The Greatest Promise?

                                                               i.      Ps 81:10.  No wisdom ever needed by a believer is ever w/held.

III.               A single requirement of asking.

a.       We ask w/ the correct attitude.

                                                               i.      W/o a proper understanding of the character of God v. 6 is impossible.

                                                             ii.      Our asking must coincide w/ the way God gives

1.      He gives w/ singleness of intent; we are to ask w/ singleness of intent.

b.      Ask w/o doubting        

                                                               i.      Why is doubting to be avoided.

1.      It calls into question God’s character

2.      To ask in faith is to exercise trust in God’s generosity

a.       To actually believe in the Lord you pray to.

                                                             ii.      Doubt

1.      What if a small iota of doubt creeps in?  After all we are frail.

2.      A strong type of doubting (evidenced by the context).

a.       A division that brings about wavering and inconsistencies about God

3.      Romans 4:20: Abe did not waver in unbelief

a.       The point:  not that Abe never entertained any doubt but that there was a consistency a single mindedness of purpose that God responds to.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Single-minded purpose to obey a single-minded God.

b.      James pictures a person who is not single-minded as one who is forever shifting positions.

c.       Waves of the Sea

                                                               i.      The picture of a doubting person

1.      Not of waves crashing the surf, but of swells that never have the same shape from moment to moment.      

a.       Always changing as the wind varies in direction and strength.

                                                             ii.      The doubter: One who has no anchor for the soul and falls prey to the winds of human opinion and desire  

1.      Desiring God one day and relying on man’s wisdom the next.

IV.              Double minded

a.       V. 7: let not THAT man suppose he will receive anything:  the person should know better

b.      Why? That person is double-minded

                                                               i.      Lit= double souled

1.      A unique term.  Concept is not new it pervades the bible

a.       Ps 12:2: the double hearted speaks deception

b.      The great command

                                                             ii.      Divided thinking is an indication of divided loyalties

1.      He claims to trust in God but does not.

c.       Trial has exposed that person for who he is. An unbeliever.

V.                 Conclusion

a.       Trials do not produce faith; they reveal faith.  Trials do not destroy faith; they test faith.

b.      Trials>endurance>perfection.  Trials should drive you to prayer to obtain what you lack, namely wisdom that you might have all you need.

                                                               i.      Trial should drive you to prayer.  To the One who says open your mouth that I may fill it.

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