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January 19, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. I love that if any of you lack wisdom. In other words, when we lack wisdom, we lose our joy when we lack wisdom, we begin to be anxious, worrisome, angry, we don't have wisdom and God says I'll make that available to you.
I will give that to God's wisdom comes from me and I used strengthening the victory and served wisdom does see ourselves, especially this year as victims is, therefore, we have all the other kinds of feelings joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us how God's word meets our year that will live in year. I guess you could call the year of bad news. We've added words to our vocabulary. COBIT I think I ever use that word in my life I you hear it every day. Sagging economy elections masks social distancing, and hurricanes. Lots and lots of hurricanes.
30 name storms record at New Orleans is been eight times in the cone of uncertainty. That's what I feel is whole years been like living in a cone of uncertainty, not really knowing what's going on. The worst part about all this except knock on wood hurricanes is that that they should be over with, but we have no earthly idea of when anything else is going to really change depending who you listen to some say next year can look a lot like this year. Let's pray not so I want to ask you a very important question and you can only answer for yourself, but you have to be honest and Christians using a church are never honest. Christians always want to give a spiritual answer to something instead how they really feel here's my question.
How you feel and how do you feel about this year what's happening to you emotionally.
I've talked to enough of you to know that there are certainly some of you are angry and you just you talk about your anger.
You're so upset.
Others are frustrated with this whole year. Many are anxious almost all of us feel exhausted. Some of us are depressed and some of us just feel so impatient and what we end up doing when we have these feelings as this is what we say to ourselves, how can I feel any different. I mean in this year with all this going on, how could I not feel the way I'm feeling when that's what I want to talk to you about today because not only could you and you should not be feeling any of these things.
I want you to start is a familiar passage is me James chapter 1 in the New Testament James chapter 1, but I want to look at it in a little bit different perspective.
By way of introduction, James one verse two. James says this he says consider it all joy, my brethren, when you live through 2020. That's what he says that's a paraphrase Lussier, he said, when you encounter various trials, consider that's the word again on my end. It means to count. And then he says something we often consider it all joy. There is a prevailing mood feeling you and I should have consider it all now he is a somewhat joyful little joyful or not terrible. He said you could consider all joy, my brother, when you encounter various trials, he said, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect results of the you may be perfect and complete, and lacking nothing. In other words, all trials, including this year are for the testing of your faith to help you grow as a Christian, so you should consider this all joy that should be your and my prevailing feeling. I just got joy in this then he adds a word that Christians often use this time God using it through James whenever you talk to Christians enters their doing something they should be doing their feelings on the nation be feeling, though always say to me, at least, of say something like this. Well I know what the Bible says, but in an organization on the house like the Bible is a relative, I know what I know what the Bible but this is why I feel this way. This is what I'm doing. This time God puts the budding which is wonderful.
He puts the budding, he said, but if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously without reproach, it will be given doing here's the connection. I hadn't seen before. If you don't have prevailing joy is your attitude in these various trials that we call 2020 is simply because you lack wisdom that your problem you lack wisdom, that's what he says. You see, you should be joyful, but if you're not, you see, I love that if any of you lack wisdom, give it to you. In other words, when we lack wisdom, we lose our joy when we lack wisdom, we begin to be anxious, worrisome, angry, we don't have wisdom and God says I'll make that available to you. I will give that to you. God says that wisdom comes from me and I use it to strengthen you and give you victory in the circumstances.
That's what wisdom does.
That's why we can be joyful, but we see ourselves, especially this year as victims of the circumstances and therefore we have all the other kinds of feelings. So what I want to look at this morning as I went to look at the subject and I want to do with a series of questions. The first question is simply this.
What does what does wisdom look like you mean wisdom. What does it look like I mean, right at the top of my head, I can say this wisdom is much different and much more than knowledge is not knowledge.
In fact, it's more like taking application to the knowledge you have to apply some in the Old Testament the word is used is often translated skillet is whole, in Hebrew it it it means the idea of becoming an expert, artisan it means that you can apply things for the good. So you have a certain amount of knowledge mimic them give the simplest very simple example okay mystic knowledge.
Now this may be shocking to you, but most you should know this a tomato is a fruit you know that now that's knowledge. Here's wisdom.
If you're making a fruit salad. Don't put tomatoes that's wisdom that's the difference between knowledge and wisdom. So what we see here is that the we need to have wisdom. David Jeremiah says wisdom is knowing to do the right thing without any precedent, you instinctively know how to live life you live your life with real skill. Wisdom sees the big picture perspective as I thought about that this week I kept thinking about trying to think of an illustration I go all the way back to one realm and I lived in Pennsylvania.
We used to drive Martine down to a place in the Ohio River called Northern lights as a shopping center diner, but across the Ohio River was Conway railroad yards and when I say railroad yards.
It's was unbelievable to see.
There were hundreds hundreds of trains there and hundreds and hundreds of tracks it. It was the railroad yard for the whole steel industry: it was for everything. There were trains on every direction on switch everywhere they went.
And if you set there in the parking lot and watched it.
You can think and be strange going to derail someone's going to hit somebody.
This is really dangerous or just going every direction. That was our perspective. If you been on one of the trains you're kind of in a hopeless situation because you don't even know what's going all you can see what's around you on the tracks so you game going with the switch box as you keep switching simply because of the way it works. You don't have any control a lot like us in 2020.
But if you were in the control room with the controllers you'd see it differently.
They would have giant boards in front of them and they are just like with air traffic controllers. They are moving everything on the strange, the perspective that they have is the big picture that's exactly the perspective God has.
He has the big picture in mind, and wisdom is having God's perspective seeing life and especially this past year as 2020 years from God's perspective. That's what wisdom does now.
What's interesting to me is the God says look, I promise to give you this so you can have joy in the midst of your trials. So what does wisdom look like. It looks that God's perspective. Why is wisdom so important. That's an interesting question. Why is it so important it's it's kind of interesting to me what the Bible says the big advantage of wisdom is it might be different than you think. Go with me to Proverbs chapter 3 Proverbs chapter 3 in verse 13 is an interesting thing that God tells us he starts out in verse 13 and he says this.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding how blessed is the man who finds wisdom now blessed as a religious word doesn't help us much money put in a word we all understand how happy is the man who finds wisdom how happy is the man who finds wisdom. If you were to take a pole and I've seen many of young people all people middle-age people anybody in our country and you said what what is most what is it you want out of life more than anything else, just want to be happy. I just want to be happy what you wish for your children. I just hope that there happy.
We all want to be happy. Now the problem in America as we pursue our happiness in a variety of ways, of which almost all of them don't make us happy at all. In the long run it doesn't work for us but wisdom.
He says this is God's word you want to be happy.
Be wise if you are wise you will be happy. James says if you're wise you will be you will have prevailing joy. No matter what the trials are to be joyful so he goes on that end and some in the proverb and says for her profit is better than the profit of silver, and her gain is better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels. And nothing you desire compares that's interesting. Having wisdom is better than having money having wisdom is a lot better than having stuff, no question about that. In fact, some of the zoning says there's nothing in this world.
The compares the wisdom to make you happy. You have to believe this. This is God speaking nothing that's going to make you happy. Nothing can even compare to wisdom, he said, long life is in her right hand in her left hand. He said the riches and honor the riches and honor can come later, but wisdom comes first. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her and happy are all who hold are fast. Why is wisdom so important makes you happy. James even says even in the worst of circumstances even in the year 2020. You can have prevailing happiness and joy.
Since therefore, if you have wisdom, it's likely the most important ingredient in your life and God wants you to have it turn with me to Proverbs 8 for a moment. Proverbs 8 a look at the first three verses in the last three in the proverb, but the whole chapters. Amazing God's going to do something here with wisdom he's going to personify wisdom is going to make wisdom a lady he once wisdom to be a woman and God says look I try the best I can to cry out to you.
I want in every way I can for you to import my wisdom to you so I I yell at you. I constantly talk to you about having wisdom.
I am for you to have wisdom so that's what he says. Notice the first three verses he said does not wisdom call and understanding lift up her voice on the top of heights side the way when the past meat. She takes her stand beside the gates, and at the opening of the city at the entrance of the doors she cries out wisdom is everywhere crying every time we go through a set of circumstances what God is saying to you. Look I want to give you wisdom. Malcolm Muggeridge said this, he said every happening great and small is a parable whereby God speaks to us in the art of life and day acquire wisdom is to get the message. So what's happening in 2020 God's crying out, he's crying out to you to grab wisdom. He knows that we don't do this very well and we all want to be happy but we don't want to inquire wisdom in all the God once imparted to us now look at the end of the chapter verse 32.
The last verses in this chapter 32 through 35. He says this now therefore, O sons listen to me how happy are those who keep my ways.
Heat instruction and be wise and do not neglect it. Happy is the man listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my door post for he who finds me finds life and obtains the favor from the Lord. He says wisdom is life. See if you have wisdom you have life. If you have wisdom you have joy if you have wisdom you have peace if you wisdom you have hope. If you see life from God's perspective, you get the essence of being alive you understand the reason that you're here. That's what God says that's wisdom. I want you to have it so that in a sense you're completely you been given God's vaccine against the whole pandemic of anxiety, depression, and a worry all those kind of thing should I give you wisdom. The question is how will we doing with this.
So why is wisdom so important, so we can be happy is what God says where you find wisdom go with me to Job 28 Job 28 verse 12. Now let me ask you question asserted give you an idea here I don't know what each of you've experienced this year, but we've all experienced a lot of things, but if you were going to compare how terrible year. This is for you or us up. How does your year compared to Job. I mean really, how does it compare this essay you go to heaven and were talking and having other people you're talking to people and you save what you don't have any of you did any of you ever live through 2020. Was it ever all you will believe all this was an you're talking away and you sail by the way, didn't catch your name is on my names Job to tell me about how bad 2020 was again for you. Seems kind of voice that this is Job talking and if you read the book of Job. One of the things you realize when you're reading the book is the Job in a sense, is searching for wisdom. He finds it eventually, but he searching for because you keep saying I don't know why this is happening. I don't know. I was covered have a counsel was going to tell me why this is happening. I just don't understand why this is happening so here in chapter 27 he starts his last reply to his friends say he's given his last reply to 2812 he says this. Where can wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding. Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living. Job knows that member Joe had three friends, that and whether they come and do. They gave him they gave insured would Job their wisdom, how was that it stuck.
It was terrible. They all they had good intentions, they didn't have any wisdom so the more Job listen to them the more he became confused.
They then offered jobs is that wisdom doesn't come from these guys, that's for sure. He said the deep says it's not in me, and the sea says is not with me. Then he says pure gold cannot be given in exchange for more consumer be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued as of the gold of offeror precious onyx or sapphire gold or glass cannot eat board, nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold coral and crystal are not to be mentioned any said in the acquisition of wisdom is above all better pearls.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot eat with, nor can it be valued in pure gold is pretty good. Job's world was just like ours just different. What is Job say money can buy your wisdom. Wisdom is the essence of life, and wisdom will make you happy but you're never going to get money it just not now.
In America we suitably money can buy everything that he can play with it will make you happy. We know that we pursue things like that. He says then verse 20 where does wisdom come from and where is this where is the place of understanding.
Thus, it is hidden from the eyes of all the living and concealed from the birds of the sky. I benignly said – save with our ears. We have heard and reported it. He said God understands its way diagnosis and doesn't have the wisdom that gives you the joy and happiness in the meaning and purpose of life. Just as Pastor Brueggemann, the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program is have Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website SBC Nola.org that SBC 10 oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds.
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