Rev. Jaerock Lee
James 3 : 17
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In your life, have you ever thought, “I wish I was more intelligent and I wish I was wiser.”? Wisdom is not just needed for students to study well.
It is needed in all of our daily lives. We may have questions like, “How can I increase my business and earn more money? How can I do something great and get promoted quickly? How can I get my boss’s attention and win his approval?” If we have wisdom, all these questions can be answered very easily.
There are some people can easily speak wisely to comfort the heart of other people and they are well liked and blessed even in crises.
But there are others who lose their chances and the opportunities because of foolish words spoken that result in nothing but trouble and embarrassment.
Also, just because what we are doing is right, or just because we are very hardworking, it doesn’t mean things will go well. Even if we have the knowledge to achieve a certain thing, we need to utilize that knowledge.
We shouldn’t do just our job and nothing more. We should also be able to consider the situations and be considerate of other people so that the work as a whole will go well.
Those who have wisdom know how to change the situations and the heart of the people around them to get what they want and to accomplish what they desire.
They don’t have to push some saying, “This is right, and we have to get it done this way.”
They gain the cooperation from the people they need and seem to make things flow like water achieving good results.
But those who are unwise will cause oppositions to arise even when they are doing good work. They will have troubles with others and be involved in difficult situations.
Not only when we live in this world, but in our Christian lives also do we need wisdom.
When you have questions concerning God’s works such as, “How can I receive more blessings in our workplace and glorify God more? How can I move the heart of my family members and let them accept the Lord more quickly? How can I open the heart of those with weak faith and let them accept the truth? How can I lead more souls to the way of salvation?”
If we have wisdom, we can bear greater fruit.
If we lack wisdom, compared to the amount of our effort and toil, the fruit will be relatively less.
Some people can see great things around them. Some people bear more fruit than what they have sown and glorify God.
But some others, although they pray and try hard, they bear less fruit than the others. But of course, if we sow with faith and love, there will surely be some fruit borne of it.
There will be answers received to the same extent that we pray with faith and the acts of faith we show.
But when we do that, those who have wisdom learn the ways to please God more easily.
Even when they pray, they say the prayer in a way that exactly suits the heart of God the Father.
Also, they can grasp the opportunities in spiritual flow to receive grace very well. Furthermore, they make those chances of grace occur for themselves.
But if we do not have wisdom, we do not know how to please God very well. Even when we pray, we may say something negative or something not good to disappoint God. Sometimes, we may even create traps for ourselves through prayer and cause trials to come upon us.
Sometimes, we have a chance to receive blessings through our prayer, but miss the chance because we don’t realize it. Then, even if we pray and try hard, the answers are sometimes delayed.
In your journey of faith, do you want to take the shortcut, and not follow a path that winds around so much? For this you need wisdom.
In receiving answers to our prayer, bearing fruit, and receiving blessings, and finally to enter into the better heavenly dwelling places, if we have wisdom we can take the shortcut.
So, in the Bible God emphasizes the importance of wisdom many times.
Let’s read Proverbs 3:13-17 as an example. It says, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.”
It means longevity [ ¡³, riches, honor, joy and peace are all in wisdom.
Also, Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.”
Would you like to acquire wisdom? I hope you all do.
For you to acquire this wisdom, in evening services I am going to deliver messages under the title ‘Wisdom from Above’.
I hope you will gain the wisdom given by God through these messages.
Is there anyone who thinks, “I am not so smart, and I wasn’t good at academics in school”?
You don’t have to worry about it.
If you receive wisdom given by God, even the most foolish person in the world can become the wisest in the world.
That is why the title of the message is not just wisdom but ‘wisdom from above’.
1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
Even those who have least wisdom can become wiser than anybody once God’s wisdom is given to them.
This wisdom from above is so precious because it is guaranteed by God.
There are many wise persons in the world, but their wisdom can never go beyond human limits. Even though they may think they are seeing the way very clear, nobody can guarantee the end result.
Even though they try hard with very detailed plans, they may face unexpected things and fail.
But when God gives us wisdom, He guarantees both the result and its fruit, too.
Even when we are faced with difficulties, God gives us the wisdom to avoid them. From now on let’s learn the secrets to acquire wisdom from above one by one.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the first secret to acquire wisdom is sanctification.
Today’s passage James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”
Is there anyone out there who is now thinking, “You said you were talking about wisdom, and why do you suddenly talk about sanctification?”
As already explained briefly, the wisdom from above is God’s wisdom, which is different from the wisdom of the worldly people.
To acquire God’s wisdom is very similar to being trained to hear the voice and receive the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
To hear the voice and receive the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, namely to communicate with God, the most basic condition is that we don’t have evil in our heart.
When we receive wisdom, we can receive more delicate and deeper wisdom to the extent that we have goodness in heart.
Also, all the ways of God’s wisdom are the ways that belong to goodness. To practice wisdom in goodness and gain benefit, we have to have sanctified hearts. Even though we are given wisdom in goodness, we cannot easily practice that wisdom if we have evil in our hearts.
Therefore, to cast off evil from our hearts is the way to receive wisdom, and we can gain benefit through that wisdom.
Let me give you an example.
I already said that some people disappoint God when they pray because they pray without wisdom.
God is Goodness and He is Love. He is the Father who loves His children. He also has the humanity to be moved by things that are good.
If we know this and if we are wise, we will pray in a way that can move the heart of the Father.
For example, suppose you are the group leader of a cell. Even though you try, revival is slow, and some members of the cell complain about you. When you pray about this situation, you can please God through your prayer to the extent that you have no evil in your heart.
Let me give you the example of such a prayer. “Father God, I am thankful just for being saved, and you guided me to a precious church to meet a precious shepherd.
Furthermore, how is it that you could entrust a person like me with such a precious duty as that of being a cell leader and caring for the flock of the Lord! I am so thankful and this duty is so precious to me.
But, to pay back this grace, I should bear more fruit, and I should be able to please the cell group members with better service.
Father, even though I am not perfect now, I will work with Your strength. Give me Your power and strength. I have the love of the Lord and the tears of my shepherd. I can change in the spiritual space, and I can prepare my vessel and bear the fruit.
Let me realize my shortcomings and change. Let me thankfully accept the advice of my cell group that they offer to me out of their love for me. Let us be united and bear more fruit.
I love You, and I thank You. Let me give You all the glory and become joy to my shepherd.”
You should pray in this way, which is proper in God the Father’s sight.
When people have conversations, those who don’t have any evil will use good expressions and consider the hearts of others.
They will use words that are gracious and good for everybody.
Therefore, even when they pray, they will naturally avoid expressions that can grieve the heart of the Father.
But what if we have evil in us? Those who are inconsiderate of others and those who complain thinking about their viewpoints only will act the same before God. They may know they have to offer good and beautiful prayers to God, but their evil hearts come out through prayer.
They may pray as follows: “Father God, I was thankful for the precious duty You have given me, and I tried until now, spending my own time and money.
I tried my best, but my cell group members break peace, they complain and they give me a hard time. I even want to quit sometimes.
God have mercy on me and strengthen me. Let the cell group members also change. Send me more new comers to have a revival. God, You are almighty and full of love, and I believe You will answer my prayer.” If you pray like this, what would God feel about it?
These people know that the duty is precious. They also say they believe in the almighty God and they know that God answers our prayers.
So, it may seem that they are thankful for their duties and they are making confessions of faith.
But from each word of their prayer, we can see that they have not cultivated goodness in their heart and they have no faith in them.
In fact, they are disappointed and disheartened before God because there is no revival although they think they tried.
They are judging the cell group members who say things about them.
They know about the wisdom to pray in goodness, but they cannot do it because they have these evil feelings in their heart.
Let me give you another example. Sometimes, when you do God’s works, you may suffer some misunderstandings of other people, because they say you did something that you never did or you said something that you never said.
Or, you did something with good intention but others interpret it in a different way and they criticize you.
In this kind of case, rather than trying to settle what is right and wrong, it is much better to keep quiet. The more excuses you give for yourself, the more rumors about you will be created.
Even though you reveal your innocence through argument, this will reveal others’ faults, and it may damage the relationships.
You may have frustration while arguing and also raise your voice, and you feel uncomfortable with others. Also, those who misunderstood and judged you will feel hurt in their pride because their fault was revealed, and they will have more ill feelings towards you.
2 Timothy 2:23 says, “But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.” In this kind of situation, if you just keep quiet and accept others, their heart will be melted down, and they can have deep trust with you, when they later find out about this.
Also, when God allows such a thing to happen to you, there must be a reason; He wants you to realize something through it. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
If you don’t try to prove your innocence or give excuses but quietly try to realize the will of God, the grace of God will fall on you and you will be able to realize yourself.
You will realize what you lack so that you could not be protected. This is a blessing for you to change into perfection more. Even if you are wrongfully accused, it doesn’t matter.
Because God is looking at you, He will repay the loss, and it will only become spiritual and material blessings.
But no matter how much we hear this kind of wisdom, we cannot make it our own if we have evil in our hearts.
We feel our pride is hurt and we are angry about it, so we complain with words. This is to fail the test.
We may try to control ourselves, but we feel good only when we go to the other person and talk about the matter.
Only when we cast off this kind of evil and become sanctified can we enjoy the fruit of wisdom.
Let me give you an example of a Biblical figure who had wisdom without sanctification. Absalom the son of David was beautiful in appearance and he had excellent wisdom. But the problem is that, because he was evil, he used his wisdom in an evil way.
Absalom had grudges against his half brother Amnon because of a certain matter.
He also held grudges against his father David for not punishing his brother.
Then, he began to plan a rebellion.
He had a very detailed plan. First, to remove Amnon’s caution towards him, he did not express his grudges at all.
And for a long time, he worked to gain the hearts of the people.
He gained popularity among the people while making them feel like his father, David, did not love them, even though he did.
Finally, he seized the opportunity and with his scheming he killed Amnon, and then he rebelled against his father, King David. Now David had to run away quickly. Absalom had also gained the support of Ahitophel, who was a very good and wise adviser to David.
This Ahitophel was so wise that if he had any plan, it was same as God’s way.
It seemed that the plan was excellent and it was proceeding very well, as planned. But the rebellion of Absalom ended in failure. God worked for David, and God caused the wisdom of Absalom to fail. Ahitophel gave Absalom a way of sure victory, but Absalom didn’t take it.
But rather than following Ahitophel’s advice, he followed a way that was suggested by one of David’s spies that favored David.
Absalom was very intelligent, but once God made his judgment weak, in a moment he chose the way of destruction. From that moment, David’s men gained time to prepare themselves for a counterattack.
Finally, Absalom died a wretched death in a battle field.
He had excellent wisdom and understanding, but what was the benefit of it for him?
With that wisdom, he killed his brother, rebelled against his father, stood against God, and fell into destruction. Wisdom as such without sanctification is useless.
In the next session, we will delve into greater detail about sanctification, through which we can gain true wisdom.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if you have good wisdom within a sanctified heart, you will be able to discern between the things that you have to do and things that you shouldn’t do.
Your words and deeds will be guaranteed by God and you will have the fruit of answers and blessings. I hope all of you will long to have this wisdom of sanctification and acquire it.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will win the victory everyday and live a blessed life in giving glory to God all the time.
[Amen]#Wisdom from Above