Spiritual Wisdom, Part 2
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Verses for the Week
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
(James 3:13-18 ESV)
This song is a call to worship, calling young and old, men and women, and rich and poor to sing of our Risen King. A beautiful truth is that God welcomes all, regardless of background. On Sunday morning, we all gather, some in the midst of struggles and others rejoicing in a time of rest. We strive to encourage one another and to sing of the riches of God’s grace.
Eugene Bartlett, a composer of southern gospel hymns, spent much of his time traveling and encouraging churches in their singing. At age fifty-four he suffered a severe stroke. Although very difficult, he managed to continue studying the Bible and writing songs. This hymn is his final work. The lyrics reveal wisdom accumulated over his lifetime. Can you sing these words with Bartlett; have you experienced the victory over sin that Jesus died to win for you?
This week’s message speaks of having godly and not worldly wisdom. Wisdom that is from above is not self-promoting but is humble, pure, and loving. I chose this song for this week to remind us to always give God the glory, for He truly has done marvelous things! Fanny Crosby, the lyricist for this hymn, once stated, “Darkness may throw a shadow over my outer vision, but there is no cloud that can keep the sunlight of hope from a trustful soul.” Although suffering from physical blindness, her heart could “see” God’s glory.
The Irish church exploded in missionary endeavors between 500 and 700 A.D. This hymn, anonymous, is believed to have come from this time. If we trust our own “wisdom,” we will fail, so let us seek God. If we take pride in our accomplishments and seek people’s praise, we will ultimately be disappointed. Therefore, let us give God the thanksgiving for the wisdom and gifts He bestows upon us. Let us always seek His vision for our future and not just our own views.
A perfect closing song, this modern hymn exhorts us as a church to go out and apply what we have just heard in the message. We can’t do it on our own, so we must rely on the armor of God. Our own wisdom is based on our limited knowledge, so let us rely on the Omniscient One’s wisdom.