James Series 07 - Be Truly Wise
Reading: James 3:13-18
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. James 3:17 (NIV)
I. The wisdom of Humility
A. Wisdom yields a Good life
1. Wisdom isn’t being clever or smart.
a. We usually think about something intellectual when we think of wisdom
b. But some smart people aren’t so smart.
c. Some of us are too smart for our own good!
2. To be wise is to live well.
a. Biblical wisdom has to do with how you live, not how you think.
b. A wise person lives well, a fool doesn’t
3. To be wise is to do good.
a. The wise are known by what they do.
b. To be wise is to try to do what is better.
B. A wise person works Humbly
1. A wise person doesn’t work for recognition
a. Wise people don’t need a plaque
b. Wise people don’t try to get noticed.
c. They don’t push others down to get up
2. A wise person works gently with others
a. The good life results when we aren’t bulldogs in the workplace.
b. Nice guys finish first–when we’re counting happiness instead of dollars.
3. A wise person works humbly for others
a. Someone out only to promote themselves don’t make many friends.
b. To work for others’ benefit: boss, coworker, friend, family, etc.
C. Humility comes from Wisdom
1. True wisdom doesn’t make people snobby
a. Being too smart might.
b. If we think we’ve made ourselves wise, we might feel better than others.
2. To become wise is to become humble
a. Heavenly wisdom teaches us humility.
b. Wisdom from heaven isn’t from us!
c. Humility is a better teacher than conceit
3. The meek will inherit the earth.
a. Because it’s not about getting things on our own strength.
b. It is about receiving them as God’s gifts.
II. The foolishness of selfish Ambition
A. Don’t brag about Selfish “wisdom”
1. It’s really NOT about looking out for #1.
a. A life centered on “#1” gets dull.
b. Fulfillment can’t be gotten directly
c. In serving others we find fulfillment
2. You might know the ropes well enough to gain a world of influence and power.
a. So what? Then what?
b. But what if it costs you your soul?
3. Your “7 Habits of Successful People” may be 7 habits of selfish people.
a. How do you define success? Happiness, fulfillment, enjoyment of life?
b. Too often we are so foolish we miss the rainbow, while busy analyzing the rain.
B. Me-first wisdom is Satanic
1. Me-first wisdom is earthly
a. It never gets higher than dirt.
b. It’s doesn’t ever rise beyond itself.
c. It’s never better than what’s possible.
2. Looking out for #1 is unspiritual
a. At best it rises to what we can imagine.
b. This wisdom is self-focused.
c. It never reaches beyond itself.
3. Self-absorbed wisdom is Satanic
a. What was the 1st temptation: You will be wise, like God.
b. All attempts to make ourselves wise without God is devilish.
C. Devilish wisdom yields Bitter fruit
1. It looks like sweet fruit–as sweet as Hell
a. Like the fruit in the garden it looks nice
b. It promises sweetness–it seems right
c. It always ends in death.
2. Devilish wisdom produces disorder
a. Disorder is the opposite of peace.
b. It produces disease, discord.
3. Devilish wisdom gives birth to evil deeds
a. This “me-1st ” business is the path to sin
b. It has since the first sin in the garden.
c. No good can come when we live out of envy and selfish ambition.
III. Wisdom that comes from Heaven
A. Godly wisdom is Pure
1. God’s wisdom is holy wisdom
a. That’s the word: holy.
b. It’s unstained, dedicated for sacred use.
2. Wisdom from heaven is faultless
a. It always works!
b. God’s wisdom is impeccable–sin-free
B. Godly wisdom is Cooperative
1. Gods’ wisdom is polite
a. It’s peace-loving
b. It’s considerate
c. It’s submissive
2. God’s wisdom is merciful and good
a. It’s full of mercy (like God)
b. It’s a garden of edible fruit
3. God’s wisdom isn’t hypocritical
a. God’s wisdom doesn’t favor the smooth talkers, or the movers and shakers.
b. God’s wisdom is authentic, sincere.
c. Godly wisdom comes from God
C. Godly wisdom yields righteous Peace
1. Heavenly wisdom produces peace-makers
a. James doesn’t even mention how this happens–he just assumes it does.
b. Not just peace, but peace-makers
c. Peace is about health and harmony
2. Peace-makers sow seeds of peace
a. God’s wisdom of peace is sown around
b. The hands of peace makers are full of the seeds of peace.
c. Their hands are open to scatter them
3. Peace-makers reap a harvest of goodness
a. You reap what you sow.
b. Sowing peace yields a healthy harvest
The Bottom Line:
|Let go of the Hassle of self-promoting foolishness. Choose the Peace of Humble wisdom.|
R#468 Be Thou My Vision vv.2,3