Formations lesson for Sept. 1: Gaining True Wisdom
August 9 2002 by T. Wayne Proctor , James 1:1-27

Formations lesson for Sept. 1: Gaining True Wisdom | Friday, Aug. 9, 2002

Friday, Aug. 9, 2002

Formations lesson for Sept. 1: Gaining True Wisdom

By T. Wayne Proctor James 1:1-27

Early tradition states that James the author was James, the half-brother of Jesus, also called James the Just. Early on he was a doubter (John. 7:6f.), but he became a believer (1 Cor. 15:7) and a prominent leader in the Jerusalem church. Tradition also states he was a man of great prayer. He earned the name "Old Camel Knees" because his knees were knotty and calloused because of years of prayer on his knees.

The key verses for this lesson are 5-6, which can be simplified to say: If you lack wisdom, ask God for it, but make sure you ask in faith, doubting nothing.

The book of James has always been identified as a practical book. My favorite title for the book is "Faith Works."

In this lesson, James exhorts the believer not to get into the habit of blaming God, but to be thankful and joyful in all circumstances.

A bevy of trials

James 1:2-8

The word picture is the same used by Jesus when he described the traveler who fell into the hands of the robbers. The Samaritan came to the rescue. Trials come in all shapes, colors and sizes. They can be perceived as good or bad, and we can either respond to a trial as lemon or lemonade, something sour or something satisfying.

A.T. Robertson wrote, "Trials rightly faced are harmless, but wrongly met become temptations to evil."

James takes the positive approach, with warnings. In verses 2-4 he states that when trials are met correctly, endurance and spiritual maturity are its results.

You've met people like that. They've experienced great tragedy, yet they live each day with a smile and a bounce to their step. They are an inspiration to others.

I suspect these Christians wake up each day with a prayer that includes "asking for wisdom," trusting and thanking God for each trial and blessing in life.

Temptation - bane or blessing

James 1:12-16

The word used in verse 12 is the same root word used in verse 2. James is making the point that when temptation comes, it is wrong to blame God. God allows many things, pleasant and unpleasant, to happen in the course of life, but it is up to us as to how we deal with them. Christians need to accept that Satan will attack us where we are most vulnerable. We must guard our hearts, and stay away from where evil lurks.

James explains that sin begins with our desires, and unchecked, can lead to our destruction.

I liken this to what happens in my lawn this time of year. Our soil is sandy and we battle the weed known as the "sandspur." When it germinates or "heads out" it produces pain producing stickers. The only real solution is to be proactive; kill them before they germinate. Fertilizer, weed killer, water and a thick, grassy lawn are the only things I've discovered that really work. In other words, don't let them start!

The same is true of temptations - don't let them gain a foot-hold in your life. You know yourself better than anyone else. Don't live a lie.

The perfect law

James 1:22-27

Jesus made the law simple and understandable to his hearers. He also lived it.

James is stating the same principle. Be a doer - not just a hearer.

In today's Christian lingo we say, "If you want to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk." It's the same principle. It's all about speech and actions. And, it's not about how we act in church, but how we act at home, at work, at the ball field, and whenever and wherever we might be tempted to let our guard down. Sometimes we're disappointed and shocked when we see the "real" person. Let's be sure it's not us who are the ones changing colors like a chameleon.

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8/9/2002 12:00:00 AM by T. Wayne Proctor , James 1:1-27 | with 0 comments
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