Passage of the Day: James 3: 16 - 17 [highlight verses 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: Okay, in the passage we’ve been considering for the last few days, James, the pragmatic half-brother of Jesus, from God’s inspiration for His Word, lays out our choice, as Christians, when it comes to pursuing “wisdom.” We can either choose worldly or human wisdom; or we can choose to pursue the wisdom of God.
Therefore, as James reveals in James 3: 16 - 17, today’s highlighted passage, there is truly a wise believer, from pursuing the mind of God – primarily from His Word – who has an attitude of humility and meekness and whose life is marked by Godly works (see James 3: 13). … OR, there is the one, non-believer or Christian, who pursues human and/or worldly wisdom, and whose attitude is marked by self-centeredness, one whose life produces disorder, chaos, or in the words of James, “… every evil practice.” So, when we look at our own attitudes, motives, and/or actions (especially our habit patterns), we ought to be able to determine whether we’re choosing to pursue the mind of God or use the patterns of our flesh or the world to glean wisdom in order to live our lives. And a discerning Christian, tempered by humility, also ought to be able to see Christian attitudes/actions, or lack thereof, in the lives of others. That discernment is also a reflection of Godly wisdom.
I would certainly say, without hesitation, that today’s world, even our daily news, is replete with evidence that the world’s pursuit of knowledge/understanding through science, worldly education, humanistic philosophies, and even some works-oriented religions, has in-fact produced the realm of chaos and evil that we see all around us. And that is what is prophesied by one of today’s highlighted verses (see James 3: 16 ).
However, when you find a Christian – a true born-again believer – in head-long pursuit of the mind and/or will of God, you will see a person whose life is marked by the fruit of the Spirit, most especially lit up by love, joy, and peace [which are also reflected in James 3: 17].
What about it? Is your life a light for Christ in this sin-darkened world? Are the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5: 22 – 23] evident when others look at your life? Or when one sees our lives on display for the world to see, do any of the fruit of the flesh shine forth like a neon sign [see Gal. 5: 19 – 21]? If the latter is the case, perhaps we could be seeking our own way in life by pursuing the ways of our own deceitful hearts or by trying to selfishly find our knowledge or understanding in the world. When are we going to see that the truth of James 3: 13 – 18 demands that we seek our wisdom from God and God alone?
Yes, the probing inventory continues. Which type of wisdom will be our pursuit? I know that my heart is to find God’s way and His will through His word; but too often I revert to a pursuit of knowledge or wisdom with selfish motives. Oh, how I pray to avoid the latter and pursue the former.
My Prayer Today: Make mine Yours, Lord! Amen