Daily Devotion for May 19, 2017


James 3:12-17 NLT

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace lovinggentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  

Real wisdom is wonderful to have, and it's exactly what every person needs (for every decision! For every word said! For every deed done!). After reading James 3:12-18, consider Bible commentator Matthew Henry's words on these verses...

1) “If we are wiser than others, this should be evidenced by the goodness of our conversation, not by the roughness or vanity of it. Words that inform, and heal, and do good, are the marks of wisdom; not those that look great, and do mischief, and are the occasions of evil, either in ourselves or others.” 

2) “True wisdom does not lie in good notions or speculations so much as in good and useful actions. He who thinks well (and) talks well, is (not considered wise by the Lord) if he (does) not live and act well.”

3) “Let (us) show (wisdom) with meekness...(to) prudently bridle our own anger, and patiently to bear the anger of others. Nothing hinders...so much as passion. When we are mild and calm, we are best able to hear reason, and best able to speak it. Wisdom produces meekness, and meekness increases wisdom.”

4) You are not wise “if you run down love and peace, and give way to bitter envying and strife.” Moreover, You are not wise if your wisdom “springs from earthly principles, acts upon earthly motives, (or) is intent upon serving earthly purposes.” Furthermore, it is not real wisdom if it is “the mere working of natural reason, without any supernatural light. And it is devilish, such wisdom being the wisdom of devils (to create uneasiness and to do hurt), and being inspired by devils, whose condemnation is pride.

5) “True wisdom is God’s gift! It is not gained by conversing with men, nor by the knowledge of the world (as some think and speak), but it comes from above. It consists of these several things:

A. It is pure, without mixture of maxims or aims that would debase it: and it is free from iniquity and defilements, not allowing of any known sin, but studious of holiness both in heart and life.”

B. “The wisdom that is from above is peaceable. Peace follows purity, and depends upon it. Those who are truly wise do what they can to preserve peace, that it may not be broken; and to make peace, that where it is lost it may be restored. In kingdoms, in families, in churches, in all societies, and in all interviews and transactions.”

C. “It is gentle, not standing upon extreme right in matters of property; not saying nor doing any thing rigorous in points of censure; not being furious about opinions, urging our own beyond their weight nor theirs who oppose us beyond their intention; not being rude and overbearing in conversation, nor harsh and cruel in temper. Gentleness may thus be opposed to all these.”

D. “Heavenly wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits, inwardly disposed to every thing that is kind and good, both to relieve those who want and to forgive those who offend, and actually to do this whenever proper occasions offer.”

E. “Heavenly wisdom is without partiality” and “without hypocrisy. It has no disguises nor deceits. It cannot fall in with those managements which the world counts wise, which are crafty and guileful; but it is sincere and open, steady and uniform, and consistent with itself.

O that you and I may always be guided by such wisdom as this—not with fleshly wisdom, but in simplicity and godly sincerity, by the grace of God!” We ask for Your wisdom, Heavenly Father, in Your Son's name—so we glorify You more and more in everything we say, think, and do...


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