Practical Wisdom from the Book of James
True Wisdom James 3:13-4:3
November 12, 2017
Pastor John Lloyd
Passage: James 3:13-4:3
The Principle: True wisdom brings peace. True wisdom produces good works. True wisdom produces humility.
I. True wisdom is a lifestyle.
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
“We all know people who are geniuses, and yet seem unable to carry out the simple tasks of life.” Wiersbe
A. A lack of wisdom causes great problems.
James 3:14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? Philippians 3:19
B. A sure sign of worldly wisdom is strife and quarrels.
James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Mark7:20-23
Without God’s help and wisdom, I will create many problems.
II.True wisdom brings a fruitful harvest.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
A. If I have true wisdom, I will check my motives.
But the wisdom from above is pure… “uncorrupted, authentic, spiritual integrity and moral sincerity.”
Practical questions to ask yourself: What am I trying to get out of this relationship? Am I trying to control this person? Am I looking out for their interests or mine? (Philippians 2:3, 2:20)
B. If I have true wisdom, I will bring peace into strife.
“Any fool can start arguments, the wise thing is to stay out of them.” Proverbs 20:3
Three things to watch out for: Comparing, condemning, and contradicting. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
C. If I have true wisdom, I will be gentle in difficult situations.
3:17b “But the wisdom from above is gentle….” (means reasonable in judging, humble patience able to submit to injustice, disgrace, and maltreatment without hatred and malice). (2 Timothy 2:25)
“Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.” Prov. 15:4
“I will not minimize your feelings.”
D. If I have true wisdom, I will be open to suggestions.
3:17b “The wisdom from above is open to reason.”
Open to reason – easy to be entreated, submissive, sweet reasonableness
“A fool thinks he needs no advice. A wise man listens to others.” Pr.12:15 Living Bible
“I will not criticize your suggestions.”
Proverbs 2:10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; (Proverbs 8:11)
E. If I have true wisdom, I will be merciful.
James 3:17b “The wisdom from above is full of mercy and good fruits.”
Mercy – The gift of showing concern for those who suffer pain and hardship, and the ability to forgive quickly.
“Be merciful even as your Father in heaven is merciful.” Luke 6:36
Mercy is giving people what they need not what they deserve.
I will not emphasize your mistakes.
F. If I have true wisdom, I will be authentic.
3:17b “The wisdom from above is impartial and sincere”
Without partiality and hypocrisy – does not make unfair distinctions
I will not disguise my weakness.
Proverbs 8:11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
Those who relate wisely to others, reap a harvest of peace!
James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
Spiritual Growth Questions for week of November 12, 2017
1. How is it going with your reading plan? Sun. John 21 Mon. I Thessalonians 1 Tues. I Thess. 2 Wed. I Thess. 3Thurs. I Thess. 4 Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that ministered to you. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.
2. Icebreaker: Who is the wisest person you have ever known? What made him/her so wise?
3. How do you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for ‘wisdom’ using the definition in James 3:17? What in your opinion is the secret to gaining wisdom?
4. Read James 3:13-4:3 three times. Read one time in a paraphrase translation (The Message or The Living Translation). Share with a friend or your group what you are hearing from God’s Word. Try and put the passage into your own words.
5. How is godly wisdom described in this text? What trait in James 3:17 stands out to you and why?
6. Deeper look: Read Psalm 111:10, Daniel 2:20-23, I Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 3:10, Colossians 2:3, James 1:5. Ask God to show one thing about wisdom from each verse. Share with your group.
7. What are some concrete ways a Christian can acquire God’s wisdom? Try to list ten. Circle the ones you regularly practice. Put a check mark by the activities that need to become part of your daily experience.
8. What can you do to become more passionate about pursuing God’s wisdom? How can we pray for you in this pursuit?
9. What step can you take this week to become a peacemaker in your daily walk?
“Knowledge enables us to take things apart, but wisdom enables us to put things together and relate God’s truth to daily life.” Wiersbe
Proverbs 4:7 “Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”