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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Wisdom from Above(2) - Peaceable    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   James3:17
Date
   2008-08-03



Passage

James 3:17

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The Bible has a detailed record about Jacob, the father of Israel.

He had a great deal of wisdom and gained many things with his methods. But while he was relying on his own wisdom, he never had peace.

His brother Esau wanted to kill him after he took Esau's birthright, and he had to hurriedly leave his parents' house.

He lived in another place for 20 long years, and he couldn't even be by his mother's side when she died.

He worked day and night despite both cold and hot weather, and he went through many situations of being treated unfairly, too.

He sometimes worked without receiving any wages. Even after receiving the wages, his uncle cheated him and changed his wages ten times.

Nevertheless, because he was dependent on his uncle, he couldn't complain. He had to bear so many things.

After going through many complications in his life, he left for his family home again. But when he did, his brother, who had held a grudge against him for 20 years, was coming with 400 men. He was in a situation where he could lose all that he gained with his wisdom and hardworking, all his possessions, his family, and even his life.

There was no way out, even with the best of his wisdom. Only then did he kneel before God.

To hold on to God, Jacob laid down all his personal ways, his wisdom, strength, and everything he had and humbled himself completely before God.

Then the Almighty God heard his prayer and everything was dramatically resolved.

God melted the heart of his brother Esau in a moment.

Esau wanted to kill his brother Jacob, but instead he came to embrace Jacob with tears.
What do you think Jacob realized at that moment?

No matter how much wisdom he had, Jacob must have thoroughly felt that he was such a little being before God. That is why he could have become 'Jacob the worm' and humbled himself completely before God.

Some of you church members also have had experiences like that of Jacob.

You were so successful in this world and you had nothing to fear. But in a moment, you faced a crisis that there was absolutely no way you could manage to overcome.

It may have been an accident, an incurable disease, bankruptcy of your business, or serious family problems.

Whatever the problem was, if we come before God and humble ourselves completely, we can receive the solution to the problem.

Even though there was absolutely no way out with our own strength, everything can be resolved when the almighty God begins to work.

Because of that experience you can now testify that you rely on the wisdom of God, not your own wisdom.
I hope all of you will be able to confess the same thing.

In various things whether big or small, I hope you will not rely on your own wisdom and strength but only the power and wisdom of God from above.

I pray in the name of the Lord that, by doing so, you will be loved in the family, schools, or workplaces and give glory to God all the time.

Body

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the last session I talked to you about the first characteristic of wisdom from above, which was sanctification.

God's wisdom is beyond human wisdom, and it is very different from the wisdom of the world.

God's wisdom is achieved only through ways that are good.

To achieve that good wisdom, and to do good as we comprehend God's wisdom, we have to have sanctification of the heart. As long as we have evil in our heart, we will not gain any of the good wisdom. And without sanctification, it's not easy to practice goodness.

In this world they say even evil and crafty things are wisdom, but God says they are foolishness.

The fruit that you gain with evil wisdom cannot be protected by God, and it can disappear any time.

Of course, on the outside, sometimes it seems that those who use evil wisdom live in peace with prosperity.

But even though their lives seem comfortable on the outside, other people cannot understand the agonies they are going through in their hearts.

Also, even if they have lived their whole lives peacefully, the important thing is the conclusion of life.

When heaven or hell is decided, we will clearly see whether they really lived with wisdom or in foolishness. Even though people may enjoy prosperity and honor for 70 or 80 years, it is clearly a foolish life that they have lived if their lives end up in eternal sufferings.
That is why Psalm 37:10 says, "Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there."

I hope you will have spiritual discernment to look at the everlasting and eternal things, not the momentary things of this world.

I urge you to keep in mind how meaningless it is to use evil wisdom to gain perishable things of this earth.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the wisdom that comes from above is characterized secondly by "peace".

Spiritual peace is peace in everything. If you have good terms with some people and bad terms with others, it's not really peace. We should love all people and be able to accept them with generous hearts. This way, we can have peace with everybody.

Then, why is it wisdom to have peace with everybody?

We can easily understand this just from history.

Many people had good intelligence and capability, but they were harmed because they didn't have peace with people.

For example, there was a person called Cho Kwang Jo in the Chosun Dynasty. He wanted to proceed with extensive reformation for the king and the people.

He wanted to get rid of evil practices in the old ways of politics and make the country rich and strong.

Because his will was good and he had passion, the king also supported him in the beginning. The people loved him too. But because he was too progressive, he caused other ministers to oppose and hate him.

Even with the opposition, he kept on insisting on his views, and finally, he even hurt the feelings of the king, too.

Finally, he was wrongfully accused by his opposition and he was executed as a result of the false charges.

If he was a little bit more gracious in his resourcefulness, he could have seen his dream come true.

But he only insisted that he was right and broke peace with others. This was the reason he faced a tragic end.

He had good intentions, good education, and also sure methodology, but everything became useless. That is why we say without peace, there is no wisdom.

Even today, similar things happen many times. For example, a person may do many great things in his job, but does not have good reputation from others. Others say that he insists on his capability and wisdom to an extent to hurt the feelings of others.

This kind of person ignores the opinions and situations of others, and he just does things his way.

He collides with his subordinates, people in other departments, and even with his bosses. If this kind of thing continues, he will be isolated in his company.

People think he hinders the union and harmony of the workers, so even his abilities will be ignored.

Therefore, we may have the ability and also produce good results. But if that result is gained by breaking peace, in the end it is without wisdom.

Brothers and sisters, more than any other of the things of this world, peace is important in accomplishing God's works.

You may be very intelligent and have good skills and talents, but it will be difficult for you to be used if you break peace. What is the purpose of doing God's work? It is to please God.

We may work hard and accomplish many good things, but if we break peace in the process, we cannot please God. The work itself becomes meaningless.

For example, children love their parents and serve them in the best way possible with full respect.

But suppose they hate and quarrel with their brothers. Then, the parents will feel bad even if they receive good things from their children.

Likewise, to please God, it is more important to follow peace than to work well.

Another reason to say wisdom is peace is because it is difficult to experience the works of God if we have discord while working for God. It is the workers who plan the things and do the work. But it is God who gives them the fruit. But if we break peace while working, it means we are giving a chance to Satan to accuse us. Then, God cannot work anymore.

In this situation, even though men work hard with the best of their wisdom, they cannot bear good spiritual fruit.

So, sometimes, leaders may have conflicts in their hearts because of peace.

For example, a person has talents and also passion to work for God.

But when the leader assigns work to the person, there seems to always be some kind of trouble that arises.

He insists on his own opinion saying, "This is better, we can have more fruit this way." He may even hurt the feelings of others.

He thinks that by doing it he is doing a good job. But if this continues to happen, finally, others will say it is difficult to work with him. Then, the next time the leader will not give him work to do. Of course, sometimes, the others just considerately bear with him.

They want to give him that duty so he can lead a life in faith with some enthusiasm.

But even if he does his duty this way, how much reward will he get later?

When he hurts the feelings of others and speaks out in complaints, he may even decrease the reward he previously gained.

Therefore, to have peace is great wisdom for accomplishing God's kingdom. You may not have great capabilities, but if you have peace, God will increase your ability and guarantee the fruit.
I am the senior pastor of this church, but I have never decided anything by my will. I listen to the opinions of the persons involved in the situation. I persuade the workers and wait until all their hearts come together. If I can do everything according to my faith and intentions, I could have accomplished the kingdom of God much more greatly than I have at this time.

But because I know it is the will of God to work together in unison, I do not insist on my opinions.

Sometimes, this may seem very slow and not very wise.

But if we look at the result, this is true wisdom.

I don't become impatient and just do the things my way. It is in the wisdom from above to move God to bear the fruit.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, not only when we do God's works, but the wisdom of peace is very important in your personal lives in faith too.

2 Timothy 3:12 says, "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

As said, we may sometimes face persecutions in our Christian lives.

In these situations, if you have wisdom of peace, the persecutions will go away and you will be loved by the people.

Acting to the contrary, you may even act foolishly and cause trials to come upon yourself.

For example, let's think about a case between a woman believer and her unbelieving husband.

The husband says, "You leave me alone every Sunday. I let you go every time, so today, don't go to church and stay home."

In this situation, the wife may sigh deeply thinking, "He is fretting like a child again."

What if she then says, "You know very well I have to go to church on Sunday, and why are you doing this? If you don't want to stay alone, you can come with me," and then she just hurries on her way out.

This is a personal attitude that is saying, "Obviously I have to go to church, and it is right. So I cannot accept my husband's grumbling." But how can you evangelize your family if you make your husband disappointed this way?

Of course, you have to attend Sunday services. But if you have wisdom, you will have peace as much as possible while keeping the Lord's Day.

For example, you will cook what he likes, clean and neatly straighten up the house, and treat him very kindly to make him happy. It's better to do that all the time, not just on Sundays.

And when you leave the house, you can say something like, "I am so grateful that you always let me go. I also want to stay home today as you said, but on Sunday I have to attend the worship service. Instead, I will definitely stay home on Saturdays and holidays. I am sorry to leave you alone, but I will be back soon!" You should say it in the most gentle and loveliest way possible.

It doesn't have to be exactly those words. If you really love your husband and want to have peace, at that moment the Holy Spirit will let you know the most appropriate words to say to have peace.

This way, if you accumulate peace and goodness in the works of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to evangelize your family more quickly.

It's not only the husband but also God who is pleased with the latter case.

Let me give you another example between husband and wife. The husband who opposes his wife attending church is now angrily shouting at his wife.

He is saying, "Make your choice! Choose between me and God!"

Then, the wife thinks, "I will not please man, but God," and daringly proclaims something like: "The enemy devil, Satan is controlling you now. If you stand against God like that, you will fall into hell. Come back to your senses, will you (please)! You enemy devil, go away!"

Or she says, "I might be able to give you up, but I can never forsake God!"

You mean to pour water on the fire, but actually you are pouring gas on it.
The persecution will not go away, and the husband is likely to harden his heart even more.

Of course, in each situation and according to what kind of person the husband is, the response will be different.

When there is strong urge of the Holy Spirit, the wife has to show her strong determination so the husband can change.

But this kind of case is very rare. In most cases, the wife has to calm her husband down with gentle words. Proverbs 15:1 also says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."

What if the wife says something like the following speaking very gently: "I cannot forsake God, but I cannot leave you either. I should have served you better. If I am doing anything else that you don't like and it upsets you, I will do better from now on. Let's live in happiness and go to heaven together."

Of course, just saying such a thing gently will not necessarily melt the heart of the husband and accomplish peace.

The words must contain truthfulness. They have to contain your love for your husband and desire to have peace.

If you get angry and come to resent your husband only because he is getting angry at you, it's difficult to have peace. Also, if you try to say something that does not exist in your heart, you cannot even think of good and wise words.

Even if you try to calm and sooth him with what you say, you cannot really move his heart.

When you first change your heart to have goodness, you can also have the power to touch the heart of others with goodness even when they show evil.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, among the characteristics of the wisdom from above, today we looked into peace.

Peace is very important not only for getting good results from certain works but also for advancing into better heavenly dwelling places.

You heard so many times that you could see God only when you have peace and holiness with everybody.

And as you try to accomplish peace, you should be careful about one thing. As I will explain in more detail later, you should not compromise with untruth saying you are doing it to gain peace.

As in the example of the husband and wife, if you violate the Sabbath just to comfort the heart of your husband who is treating you unfairly because you are keeping the Sabbath, it is not peace but compromise.

To follow fleshly peace this way is not wise, but very foolish.

It's because you might as well fall into way of death with your husband. The first thing you have to think about in accomplishing peace is peace with God, not men.

If you commit evil and sins, peace with God will break.

But if you cultivate sanctification in the heart and have perfect peace with God, you can have peace with everybody, too. That is why Proverbs 16:7 says, "When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."

I hope you will have peace in everything with both God and men.

I pray in the name of the Lord that, by doing so, you will become wise ones to experience the works of God everyday and glorify Him.

[Amen]

 
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