Passage of the Day: James 3: 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.
My Journal for Today: Repeating [from yesterday’s entry] the same highlighted verse from God’s word for today’s entry, Jesus’ half-brother, James, was a pragmatist. If a Christian likely said to James that he had faith in Christ, James would have wanted to see that faith reflected in the behavior of that believer (be sure to read and meditate on James 2: 14 – 26 (linked for your study here in the NKJV), from which we get the oft quoted truth, "… faith without works is dead.”
James had the same feeling about faith that he had about the quality of wisdom which we’ll be reviewing/studying this month. In today’s highlight verse, James asks the up-front rhetorical question, “Who is wise and understanding among you?” And to his rhetorical question, the practical James basically says (and I paraphrase), “Show me your answer from your works.”
For James, real wisdom – Godly wisdom – should be visible in the life of a believer in Christ by good behavior and Godly deeds. This was also the premise and truth by the poetic Psalmist in Psalm 119: 33 – 40 … [read it, again in NKJV, from this link!] … that the wisdom of God’s word and truth will be reflected in the life of the one who knows and lives by that truth.
If I were to tell you that God has a formula for living a successful Christian life, would it not be a worthy goal to seek out that formula and then to live it? Well, of course it would! And that’s exactly what James is trying to impart in James 3; and what the Psalmist of Psalm 119 is sharing in his poetry. It was what Solomon tried to share with his son in Psalms 3 – 9; and it was the message of God Himself to Joshua in Joshua 1: 8.
When are we going to listen, learn, and then live by God’s prescription and formula for successful Christian living, which is being in and living in the word of God?
When one knows and truly believes God’s word and is obedient to His will through His word, that one will be driven by a surrender to God’s Spirit and will become enabled by God’s grace to live in such a way that reflects and glorifies God. And if we lived that way, don’t you think that would be visible to others? Of course, it would; and that is the transformed life of “living sacrifice” the Apostle Paul says is the life of reasonable worship and/or service which Christians will choose to live, reflecting the will of God (see Romans 12: 1 – 2). And it was the life Jesus wanted to see reflecting His Light into the world from the life of any true believer (see Matt. 5: 16) to glorify His Father.
And reviewing these truths causes me to reflect and ask, “Is my life one of living worship? … Does my life shine forth the truth of God’s word?” And I’m forced to answer – “Not enough!”
I’ll let you do your own inventory after meditating on this devotional entry?
My Prayer Today: Lord, Your word says in Ps. 119: 40, “Behold, I long for Your precepts. Revive me in Your righteousness.“ Oh Father, help me … so that this would be my life! Amen