These are my notes that I made on Sunday morning May 20, 2018.
May 21, 2018 – The sermon was about wisdom, especially verse 17 in the 3rd chapter of the letter from James. James starts the chapter deploring the way we talk to each other and warning about how easily we harm each other by what we say. In verse 13 he asks and then answers a question: who is wise among you? Who among you has a firm, accurate understanding of life? Whoever they are, you’ll see them demonstrate wisdom by right living – good conduct, good conversation, noble behavior – with gentleness and humility.
He goes on to describe lack of wisdom: “14 But if you have Bitter Jealousy and Selfish Ambition in your heart, don’t brag and be false to the truth. 15 That is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic [Whoa]. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, disorder and every vile practice are found.”
At last, verse 17: “But the wisdom from above is first 1) pure, then 2) peaceable, 3) gentle, 4) open to reason, 5) full of mercy and good fruits, 6) impartial and sincere.”
Then comes the dessert in verse 18: “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” [This is a great proposition to memorize.] In other words, if you want to thrive, make peace with others, cultivate peacefully with everyone around you.
So that was the text, and here follows highlights from my notes and elaborations of the sermon which you can hear here: http://avenueofgrace.com/2018/05/09/2018-05-sermons/
Family Relationships – Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – James 3:13-18
Wisdom will not eliminate all of our problems, but it certainly can help us prevent a lot of them and minimize their effects. And we sure are foolish in our relationships, i.e. the way we treat each other. We want joy, satisfaction, stability, fulfillment, but we often act counter-productively. That’s not wise; it’s foolish.
Godly wisdom is the foundation of every truly healthy relationship.
Godly wisdom is not the same thing as knowledge.
Anyone can act foolishly – even some “smart” people.
THE SUBJECT – It’s not a matter of knowledge. Rather it is about the skillful employment of knowledge, and that is what you are in the process of learning.
Godly wisdom is available to everyone, even if we’re not smart enough to teach microbiology, rocket science, cosmology, and quantum mechanics.
Wisdom is about planting seeds. Plant well with good seed.
Every day in *every* relationship, “sow good seeds” because how you talk now has impacts that occur in the future. We reap what we sow. If you plant Johnson grass, or milkweed or stinging bull nettles, don’t expect to grow tomatoes and pinto beans from it. You won’t get peas and carrots either. If you are rude or hateful towards someone, don’t expect them to treat you with love and kindness, because the natural effects of your words will have generated in them a dislike for you and the desire to avoid you – dis-unity. Don’t plant bad seeds of rudeness & hateful talk.
Wisdom operates within certain boundaries that keep it functioning well. Everyone has broken these rules or guidelines, but we are learning to avoid that. We are getting better at it, too 🙂
(9:30) re-read the text James 3:13-18
2. Peace-loving / Peaceful / Peaceable
3. Gentle / Considerate
4. Compliant / Submissive
5. Merciful & fruitful ?
6. Sincere & Impartial
Pure – incorrupted – clean – unpolluted – clear – untainted – not mixed – it’s your integrity, wholeness. Godly wisdom grows in a heart that is connected to Him. You are not going to ever be wise apart from spending time with God. Jesus told us to be actively pursuing the righteousness of God. Matthew 6:33
Without trust you can’t have a relationship. Trust is built on truth.
Without trust intimacy is absent – impossible.
Truth is the foundation of trust.
Trust is the foundation of a relationship.
(12:40) – Proverbs 2.7 “He stores up perfect wisdom for those who are right with Him. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.” [NLV]
Jeremiah 17.9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” [ESV]
Ephesians 4.25 “Stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth because we all belong to each other in the same body.” [ICB]
IF I WANT TO BE WISE
1. Pure – I won’t compromise my integrity.
I must live a truthful life – in honesty.
I won’t live a secret life. I won’t violate my conscience.
No truth; no trust. No trust; no relationship.
2. Peaceful – I won’t be the antagonist who quarrels.
Proverbs 20.3 “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.” [NLT]
Don’t Use These Tools Against Others
2 Corinthians 10:12 “we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.” [HCSB]
I wont compare, condemn or contradict, or publicly correct.
Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.
3. Gentle/Considerate/Courteous – I won’t minimize your feelings.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” [NIV]
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.” [ESV]
Two Common Mistakes
a. React to actual words & ignore the underlying feelings.
b. Reject others or Invalidate them because we don’t feel the way they feel.
When you don’t understand their feelings, ASK them “Why do you feel that way?”
4. Reasonable/Willing to Yield/Submissive – I will let you lead.
I won’t criticize your suggestions.
I will carefully examine and consider your ideas.
5. Mercy and Good Fruit – Maximize grace towards others.
I won’t emphasize your errors/failures/mistakes.
[ 11th Commandment: “Let there be slack.” ]
Proverbs 17:9 “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends.” [TLB]
1 Corinthian 13:5 “does not keep a record of wrongs” [HCSB]
6. Sincere/Impartial – I won’t disguise my intentions.
No hypocrisy. Honesty.
How can I help me grow wise?
Know God. Obey Him in everything.
Lean on Him. / Ask Him to help me follow through on what I know He has said.
Start loving others with the same kind of love God expresses.
In other words, start expressing God’s love towards everyone in my life, great and small, in the kitchen, in the mall, in the store, and in the hall.
- Revive Us O God
- Fun Fridays – Summer 2018