This is the audio from the December 27, 2020 sermon, “The Gift of WISDOM”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: James 3:13, Matthew 2:1-12
While James tells us that God is gracious in giving wisdom to all who ask, he also makes it clear that wisdom is made known by what we do. In Jeremiah, God tells us to look for the ancient paths and find the good way to walk — presumably by learning from the wisdom of those who walked this earth before us. The wisdom which comes from God is very different from the wisdom of the world and we would do well to find the wisdom that is not self-seeking and self-promoting.
When we seek the wisdom found in Jesus, we find the gift of . . .
- Wonder: Mark 9:15 — Wherever Jesus went on this earth, people were filled with wonder. From the wonder expressed by the shepherds and Magi at His birth to the wonder of the teachers in the temple when Jesus was twelve to the wonder often expressed as He taught and performed miracles, wonder was a natural reaction to the Son of God dwelling among mankind. It is this element of wonder that causes us to realize that God’s ways are not always explainable — nor should they be. God’s gift of wisdom allows us to marvel at the mysteries contained within creation and within His Word.
- Insight: Acts 4:13 — There are elements of wisdom found throughout scripture that seem to elude the grasp of many of the most studious minds. There is something unique about spending time with Jesus that gives a person insight that could never be gained in any other way. Even when the religious leaders did not like the message being shared by the apostles, they could help but take note of the only possible explanation for the insight being shared was that these men had been with Jesus. Imagine what it would be like to have wisdom that is filled with great insight because you are spending time with Jesus.
- Service: Mark 10:45 — Wisdom is often best seen in what we do, rather than in what we say. The wisdom described by James is something that is seen in the good deeds which come from humility. When we look to Jesus for the gift of wisdom He would offer, we find that He lives a life that is all about serving others. It is by humbling ourselves and finding ways to serve others that we gain entrance into their life to the point that God’s wisdom can be seen in us. It is within this gift of service that we find wisdom by doing unto others what we would have them do unto us.
- Delight: Matthew 12:18 — God’s desire has always been that mankind would be delighted with Him even as He delights in us. Godly wisdom helps us to delight in the Lord as we learn the secret of Him being enough for a life of contentment. Our level of delight in life is often directly related to our learning the secret of contentment — whether in plenty or in want. We ought to be filled with great delight as we realize that God delights over us with singing. In a similar fashion to a parent or grandparent giving gifts to children which are a delight to both the giver and receiver, God’s gift of wisdom to us should be a delight to Him and to us.
- Obedience: John 15:10 — It should come as no surprise that when Jesus wanted to define what a wise person looked like He told a story. We tell it to our children as the story of the wise and foolish builders — we even have a children’s song to tell the story for us. In it, the wise person is the one who hears the Word of God and does what it says. For most of us, obedience was learned as a desire to avoid the consequences of disobedience. As we grow in wisdom, our obedience ought to grow more and more out of a heart of love. The Bible teaches that as God’s Son walking the earth in human flesh, Jesus learned obedience to His Father and ought to serve as our example in every way.
- More: John 16:12 — Just as they do in all of the TV commercials for the “As Seen On TV” products, we’ve reached the point where I say, “But wait! There’s more!” Accepting the gift of wisdom from God should lead us to a realization that there is more than we will ever know or understand. As Jesus taught His disciples, He knew there was a limit to what they could grasp — and even a limit to what they should be able to grasp. The Holy Spirit would be sent after the resurrection of Jesus to help with some of the “More”, but even with an indwelling of God’s Spirit there are elements of God and His nature that are purposefully kept a mystery to us. The gift of wisdom acknowledges that the ways of God are higher, better, nobler, and more perfect than any of the ways of man.
So, as we consider the gift of wisdom which has been offered to us, the question to consider is what are you going to do with that gift? Godly wisdom is not found in the accumulation of knowledge, but in the application of what God has revealed through His Word, His Spirit, and through our times of prayer.