The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #4639

My highlighted verses:James 1:1  ¶James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2  ¶My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
"Liberally" means "simply".

If you sincerely ask your Father for wisdom He will simply give it to you and He is not going to make you feel foolish or guilty and chide or taunt you.

But if you are not sincere, if you either don't believe He can or will fulfill His promises to you, or you are not willing to "wait patiently", then you are better off not asking Him at all.

You see, you will need some wisdom before you do your asking of God.


Well, wisdom needs to come first, because wisdom will determine what it is that you ask your Father for, i.e. whether it is something you can do or handle yourself or something which only He can provide.

Wisdom simply will not ask Him to brush your teeth or give you a new speedboat.

A true servant of God asks for those things that enable him or her to further their service to Him, i.e. according to His will.

[6] But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Ask in faith, using wisdom (which comes from His Word) and then you will have no doubts about it.

But what does asking in faith mean?

Does it mean to ask for something, like a financial blessing, and then blindly believe (hope) He will answer you because some preacher said you must "believe" else God will not answer your prayer?

If you actually believe some yo-yo who says send him money to plant your "seeds of faith" and then he promises that God will bless you for it, you are in big trouble!

If that is your case, you already don't believe, and you not only show a lack of wisdom but you flaunt your stupidity!

You see, James is explaining that if you truly have wisdom, which you must ask for, which then God makes available to you by giving you the simple understanding of His Word in supplying your daily bread so that you may be nourished and grow to maturity, then the faith you have will manifest itself in the works which you do, else you have a dead faith.

And you see, if you are a deadbeat Christian with a dead faith, should you expect that He is going to be willing to answer your prayers?

In other words, men and women of "faith" don't just say they believe, they SERVE the Lord, they DO His work.

That is what a faithful and wise steward does!

Those are the Christians who receive the rewards!

Remember the parable we began with?

Luke 12:42
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
The question the Lord asked was, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward?"

Are you?

What do you do for Him?

Do you seek wisdom from Him, i.e. from His Word?

What do you ask Him for?

Don't miss the next study in this Book of James.

He has some fantastic advice and words of comfort to always remember for those who will endure the temptations and trials which will test their faith in this final generation.

James 1:7
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Especially a crown of life!

How do you think the Lord feels about those who are not committed and are on-again off-again, sometime or part time Christians.

Surely He loves them but they don't really know the Lord because they don't know His Word.

It is amazing how many people go to church just in case there is a God.

[8] A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
A double minded person, much like the waverer of verse six, is one who tries to be worldly and spiritual at the same time.

He wants to serve both God and mammon!

What did Jesus say about that?

Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

To carry it one level further, a person cannot follow Jesus Christ and Satan at the same time.

Next, James gives us a contrast between someone who is poor and someone who is rich.

Of course we know that both are going to shed the flesh!

That same fate happens to the rich, the poor, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

9  Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10  But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11  For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Do you know of any loving parents who like to tempt their kids with sin or perversion or place their children in harms way or in situations which cause them grief and distress?

Of course not.

So let's be mature and not try to blame our heavenly Father for our problems and trials and tribulations, but rather recognize that God does allow Satan to tempt us, the one who is the evil tempter.

Remember how our brother Job suffered great affliction and testing at the hand of Satan?

Satan thought for sure that Job would crack and curse God to His face and blame Him.

But you know what?

God knew his servant Job could handle it, and He knows you can handle your temptations too.

1 Cor. 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Count it all joy, James says!

God is faithful and gives us the victory if we stay in Him.

Of course we can let our own lusts and desires occupy our minds to the point we draw away from the Word of God!

It can happen!

So don't let it!

Exercise discipline in His Word so you can walk in the Spirit and then you won't take action on those lusts and desires.

Galatians 5:16
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
However, if you allow yourself to be preoccupied or double minded and you begin to draw away from the Word, then temptation can entice you and soon overcome you.
James 1:14
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
It is important to understand just what "lust" is and isn't because Christians are real easy to put on guilt trips.

I remember one poor fellow I counseled who was laden with so much guilt it wasn't funny, though I must confess that the story he told was.

It went like this:

"It all started when I was about age 13 or 14", he said, "and the church I attended was one where people kneel and stand and kneel and stand, and so forth. Well," he continued on, "in the process of all this kneeling and standing I began to notice that some women's behinds were better looking than others. But I was told that Mat. 5:28 meant that to look upon a woman to notice those sorts of things were the same as committing adultery with her in your heart and so from early on I began to feel guilty whenever I looked upon a lovely woman."
Ok, you mature Christians can't quit laughing now, while you babes in the Word must understand that "lust" is not admiring the beautiful natural creations of God, which He Himself declared as good.

Lust is to "long for" with "eyes of seduction" and to "put the make on" someone.

Those actions are not the components of admiration.

Here's the Strong's definition of lust:

lust = epithumia, ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah, Greek 1939; from Greek 1937 (epithumeo); a longing (especially for what is forbidden) :- concupiscence, desire, lust (after).
So don't long for and desire after that which is forbidden and contrary to the Word of God.

Again, don't be drawn from the Word, but stay walking in the Spirit and your lusts will not conceive and bear bad fruit.

15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16  Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Although this really applies to all aspects of a person's life, the subject here is the Word of Truth.

So what James is saying to his beloved brothers and sisters scattered abroad in these last days, "take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth and don't be confrontational, argumentative, or vengeful about the Word of God."

 Some people as soon as someone tells them something they disagree with they begin to get angry and argumentative.

20  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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