Passage of the Day: James 3: 14 [highlight verse in bold/underlined] … 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
My Journal for Today: Yesterday I ended my devotional journal entry with a challenge to any reader who is serious in his relationship with Christ [but mostly the challenge was for myself!]. I asked us to do an inventory of our attitudes to see if we truly seek to know God, a goal which I would assume is shared by every Christian. John MacArthur in his Strength for Today entry for this date has a similar charge, comparing James 3: 13 with verse 3: 14 and asking believers to be honest in their hearts about how much we would want to know our God.
In seeking to know the mind of God, we must probe more deeply to determine whether our pursuit of wisdom has self-centered motives; or are we “other-motivated” in our life search for understanding, knowledge, and insight into God’s word [the Holy sanctuary of God’s will]. In light of James’ questions in James 3: 13, MacArthur writes, “Humility is the hallmark of the wise person.” And from my past studies, I know, as I hope readers do as well, that humility is the key to God’s grace (see James 4: 6 or 1st Peter 5: 5 – 6).
One of the endowments of God’s enabling grace is insight into Himself. So, when a believer humbly comes to God, usually digging into His Holy Word [remember the word picture of Job 28 - i.e., mining deeply for wisdom], God is most willing to pour out His wisdom to that expectant believer. That is the promise of James 1: 5 – 6, a promise which comes from God to believers from His own word. However, you’re not going to find that grace-empowered wisdom being dealt out to those who are motivated by pride, bitter jealousy, or selfish ambition, … nor those who brag about their achievements.
No, such a person is living a lie from hell which stands against the truth of the Gospel. Seeing such a person, one would really have to wonder if he were saved at all or if he were a Christian fool, severely out of fellowship with his Savior; … and most certainly one who is out of line with God’s will.
Therefore, once again I challenge us all to take stock and see if we are pursuing God’s mind with the humility which marks a sincere and serious Christian seeker to know His Lord and Savior.
My Prayer Today: Humbly, Lord, I pray to know You and to share Your truths with others. Amen