Sermon Heavenly Wisdom For Earthly Living Requires Work
A major religious bookstore does not carry “90 Minutes In Heaven” nor “Heaven Is For Real” nor “Miracles Are From Heaven”. It isn’t restricted by government regulations nor anti-religious groups. But the decision makers within that religious organization decided that these 3 experiences of Christian Faith did not meet their standard of what could be considered a reliable witness. So a spiritually hungry audience who enters that chain of book stores won’t find these 3 national best sellers on their book shelves. Hmm. Curious. And to me quite sad.
The lead characters in these 3 books & movies give witness to heaven’s reality by way of their near death experiences. Since then they have felt the responsibility, scrutiny, empowerment, and challenge to live out what they experienced from their heavenly message. They give witness while knowing that their story is not the whole story. They give witness: 1) that heaven is real; 2) that it matters how we live on earth; 3) that faith in Christ is rooted in Scripture and known by experience. Wisdom is the pathway by which we can know how to live a heavenly life on earth.
James, the brother of Jesus who became a leader in the Early Christian Church, wrote that “we should pray for wisdom” and that this “wisdom came from heaven”. So our hunger to live a heavenly life on earth is connected to how we receive and enact biblical wisdom. Biblical wisdom grows us closer to God by showing us how to live a Christian life on earth. Biblical wisdom stirs us and shows us how to love -God, people and ourselves.
Listen to May’s sermon series from the book of James. Each Sunday we will engage 1 of James’ 5 chapters, and let God speak His wisdom into our lives.
Pastor Les Hollon - May 1, 2016
Heavenly Wisdom For Earthly Living Requires Work
From Series: "James: Living Through God's Wisdom"
GENRE - James is the biblical book of wisdom in the New Testament. For instance - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, and a section of the Psalms are wisdom books in the Old Testament. In this brief book (5 chapters), God challenges us to trust Him enough to trust that His ways are the way to live wisely. There are also many wisdom sections in the New Testament. For example Jesus in the Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5-7) taught wisdom in a way that significantly influenced James in writing his letter. But James is the New Testament book that, from its beginning to its ending, is best understood as wisdom literature. AUTHOR - For me there is sufficient evidence to conclude that James, the brother of Jesus, is the author of the book that bears his name. He grew beyond his childhood and early adulthood reluctance about Jesus. Ultimately he embraced Jesus as the Messiah, and became a wise & courageous leader in the Early Church. Paul highlighted that Jesus appeared to James at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7) Luke records in Acts that on various occasions James participated in developing the early Christian community. James wisely led the church through the controversy of the Jerusalem Council. (Acts 15) TIME & AUDIENCE - James or 1 Thessalonians was the first written book of the New Testament, circa 45 A.D. The audience were Jewish Christians who were scattered in various regions of the Roman Empire.