Every week, on Monday, we will have a blog for you with resources for diving deeper into the sermon.
This past weekend, pastor Andrew started the new sermon series Of Two Minds. This series is a study in the book of James; it is a very down-to-earth book with instruction on how to live our lives as Christians. The book of James tells us what to do because of who God has made us to be. In week one, we are focusing on verses 5-8 and will see that the main idea is single-minded devotion is evidenced by begging God for wisdom. The God who created the world and everything in it stands ready to give us wisdom for how to live when we ask for it.
James opens his letter by telling his audience to “count it all joy” when there are trials and hardship in their lives. But why? Because trials put us in a position to ask God for wisdom. Verse 5 makes this clear. But what is wisdom? Wisdom is life by God’s design. It’s knowing how to act God’s way in every situation that you are confronted with, even trials. But trials in our life bring us to the point where we are looking for wisdom. The world continually offers its hollow wisdom to us, but verse 5 says that God stands ready to dispense wisdom generously to those who ask in faith. The one who Created it all wants to give us his insight into how to navigate life.
The condition (in verses 6-8) to asking for wisdom is that the person should ask without doubting. But we all struggle at times with doubt, right? So, will God ever grant our request? It’s not doubting that’s bad. Doubting that pushes you to search for answers apart from God is unwise. When we allow our doubts to push us to search for answers apart from God, we are like waves tossed by winds of doubt. But if in our doubt we go to God, that demonstrates our faith. Asking God to give us wisdom shows that we believe he can and will. And we can trust that God will give us this wisdom because he already gave us his true wisdom in Christ (1 Cor. 1:34). God gave us wisdom in truth: Jesus Christ. Why wouldn’t he give us wisdom in practice? Because of the wisdom of Christ, and your being found in him when you believe, God sees you as wise.
Pastor Andrew gave us two ways that we can gain wisdom for life. The first is to demonstrate single-mindedness by asking God what to do. We don’t wait for God to give us miraculous signs of wisdom (although he could); rather, the wisdom of God comes from the word of God. In asking God to give you wisdom, ask him to understand his word. As you read each page, ask God for the wisdom to do his will. What it boils down to is will we trust God’s wisdom or our own? If we trust God’s wisdom, we’ll pray and be in his word.
The second way we gain wisdom is to demonstrate single-mindedness by asking God for the ability to do what we know. We don’t just ask for the ability to know things but for the ability to do what we know. Some of us have a lot of knowledge of God’s word, but we don’t have the wisdom or desire to put it into practice. That’s what double-mindedness is. James wants us to stop being double-minded.
James Reading Guide – We have broken the book of James down so we can read it over the course of the whole series together. This companion reading guide can be downloaded in full (with and introduction to the book) at the link provided. Or you can have the verses and commentary sent to your email every day by texting MHPLAN to 41411.
-Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator/Community Groups)