From the Pastors Desk
Wise, Unwise, and Otherwise -James 3:13-18- Preparation for Sunday’s MessageJune 12, 2020 Pastor Byron
Our E-Bulletin will look a little different this week. I am going to ask you to read our passage for Sunday and think through a few questions.
Our text this week deals with WISDOM. Let’s get a few definitions on the table to begin with:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”Proverbs 9:10
“Wisdom is full of how to live in God’s universe in the fear of the Almighty.” Don Carson
“Wisdom is hard to define because it means much more than knowledge and goes much deeper than awareness … wisdom can be defined as the ability to view life from God’s perspective.” Charles Swindoll
“Someone has said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put them together. Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.” Warren Wiersbe
“Being wise does not mean we understand everything that is going on because of our superior knowledge, but that we do the right thing as life comes along.” Kent Hughes
Take a moment and read James 3:13-18 in two different translations (I’ll give you two fairly uncommon translations for your consideration):
James 3:13–18 (God’s Word Translation - 1995)
13 Do any of you have wisdom and insight? Show this by living the right way with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and filled with self-centered ambition, don’t brag. Don’t say that you are wise when it isn’t true. 15 That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic. 16 Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.
17 However, the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. Then it is peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good deeds, impartial, and sincere. 18 A harvest that has God’s approval comes from the peace planted by peacemakers.
James 3:13–18 (Good News Bible – 2nd Ed. 1992)
13 Are there people among you who are wise and understanding? They are to prove it by their good lives, by their good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 14But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don’t sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 15Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 16Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 17But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 18And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.
First question, how is wisdom proven in our lives? Are you really wise? How will others know it for sure? What is the test of true wisdom? (Hint, check out verse 13)
Second question, look through verses 14-16 and identify what earthly or ungodly “wisdom” looks like. How does this kind of “wisdom” show itself?
Third question, how is godly wisdom demonstrated? How can it be identified? (V:17)
Fourth question, what does godly wisdom produce (in church, in families, in relationships)? (v:18)
May this exercise challenge us all … “See” You Sunday!