Wednesday, April 02, 2008

James 3-4

A few days ago I wrote about the requirements for receiving God's wisdom. James goes into more detail here.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18

James first asks the question, "Who is wise and understanding among you?" His answer: "Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom" (NIV). So here James suggests that wisdom goes hand in hand with both good living/character and humility/meekness. He then tells his reader that if there is any bitter jealousy or selfish ambition, there will be no wisdom, because the wisdom from above has nothing to do with jealousy and selfish ambition.

James shows his reader how to discern true wisdom. I have to ask the question, "Am I a wise person?" Going back to the Proverbs passage, I know that there are times when I am not in a place to receive from God, and I also know that there are many times when I do not seek Him as I would seek silver or gold. So do I have the wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere? Wisdom should dictate my walking and my talking, and I know that there are several areas where I do not measure up. I can be stubborn, prideful, arrogant, unmerciful, and insincere, and I also show partiality quite often. So what does that say about me? I'm once again grateful for God's good news! Through Jesus my heart can be transformed. I can come to Him everyday to receive mercy, forgiveness, and a new chance to walk in His Kingdom. For now, I'm reminded that I fall short every day and am in desperate need of a Savior.

Father, reading Scripture is difficult, because it shows me just how need I am. Forgive me for thinking I'm wise. Forgive me for believing the lie that I am pretty self-sufficient. I ask for Your wisdom. I ask that You transform my heart and draw me near to You. Amen.

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