We were blessed to attend Crosspath Church in Chattanooga when we were in the area. My last post was about the first two days of our trip there and click here to read about the rest of the trip. When Pastor William Jacques said he’s been preaching a series from the book of James titled, “Real Faith for Real Life,” I knew the message on this date (May 22, 2016) was for me (and I’d blog about it). And as he went on, Bill nodded and nudged me, so I guess it was for him, too. Or else, he knew it was for me. 😬
I don’t know about anyone else, but the book of James is one of my favorites. There is so much in there and the one scripture I pray for myself and for others as I pray for them, is from James 1:5, “…if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” I guess I assume everyone needs wisdom so when people ask me to pray for them or if I sense a need to pray for someone, I always include for the Lord to give them the wisdom they need.
The Pastor used the Jerry McQuire movie as an illustration to set up the sermon. I do remember watching the movie and it was about Jerry seeking to find meaning in his life. The line I remembered from the movie was “Show me the money.” But apparently there was another famous line the Pastor used. I guess I didn’t really watch the movie that closely as I missed it! Jerry had been successful as a sports writer, he wanted to be better, but he was fired instead! He then had to reinvent himself and went out on his own, with one lone client he was going to help. As he was seeking to make money and help this client, he also began to fall in love with the only employee (female) who agreed to work for him after he was fired. The movie seemed to climax where he declared his love to her by saying the now famous line, “you complete me.” WOW, what a statement of love (?). It seems we are all seeking something to complete ourselves.
And that was the crux of the sermon, we are all seeking something. Many of us find that really nothing this world has to offer “completes us” or satisfies our soul. I just read the Book of Ecclesiastes written by Solomon, not only the wisest man in the world, but also the richest in his day. He virtually had it all and in the end of his life, decided it was all meaningless, only the Lord satisfied his soul.
What we liked and where Bill and I nudged each other more were the parts where the Pastor talked about about “know it alls” or very opinionated people. Not his words, he was gracious as he spoke, but it was what we felt some conviction on and something we do see a lot in our life style. I’ve learned if you see something in others, you best first look at yourself as you will probably see the same trait in yourself. OUCH. I really want to only let the Bible be my foundation for opinions. I’m working on it….
I only took a few notes from the sermon, so I’m only sharing what I took away from it. If you would like to hear (and see) it in it’s entirety, it’s here and on their website as an MP3. The subtitle of this sermon could also be “Two Kinds of Wisdom” as noted in my Bible from the verses he centered the sermon on (which I love when the sermon is straight from God’s Word):
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
No one wants to be seen as a fool. But from the Bible, we learn there is meekness in wisdom and I’m repeating it, James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. If we think we are so “wise” we should also display meekness as a trait. The Bible also says in Proverbs 4:7a “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” And we do notice those who “know it all” usually aren’t acting very meek. So we need to watch ourselves as we portend to know it all!
What a great series Pastor Jacques has covered about faith under these headings and from these scriptures: Faith Perseveres James 1:1-11; Faith Triumphs; James 1:12-18;Faith Obeys James 1:19-27; Faith Loves James 2:1-13; Faith Acts James 2:14-26; Faith Speaks James 3:1-12; and for us, we heard, Faith Seeks James 3:13-18.
A great reminder for me, to seek Wisdom from above in all I think, do, say, act and finally write! We are to seek fulfillment in this lifetime, but not from the world as Jerry MacQuire attempted.