THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 1-2-11
LESSON TITLE: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: WISDOM!”
In Ephesians 2:8, we read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith,…!” What greater way to start a new year than in remembrance of the Grace of God which saves us! So let me say, Happy New Year and welcome to our first program of 2011. We thank you for joining us this day to hear God’s Living Word.
It will again be our privilege today to be uplifted through our commitment to serving God as commanded, as we approach His almighty throne. What a blessing we have this day to reverence our God through prayer, song and the study of His matchless Word. Won’t you do your part this morning to see that our assembly together is acceptable to God, that we may glorify Him in all things?
Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!
With all that God has done for us today, we no doubt love and appreciate Him as our Father. How blessed we are to have a Creator that truly adores the faithful. So just how do you react to the great love which God extends to you? With that in mind, we would like to begin our songs of praise this day. The first hymn of the morning is entitled, “Jesus Is All The World To Me.”
(SONG # 1)
Most of us probably have many verses in the Bible which we consider as “favorites.” This morning I would like to mention one that I love, which is found in 2 Timothy 2:15. These familiar passage states, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Wow, what a challenge, what an exhortation!
How many want to be “approved of before God?” No doubt we all do! Well, Paul here states that we must first be diligent in our lives for God, if we want to be approved of by Him. The King James Version uses the word “study” instead of “diligence.” However, both words show us the need for a focused, committed, diligence necessary by the one who loves God. And for what reason? That he/she might grow in the knowledge of His Will.
Now after we have committed ourselves to diligence, study and growth, notice the responsibility we then bare! Paul says we are, “workers, who do not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” As God’s own children, we have a heavy load to bear if we are to be pleasing in His sight. We must learn and know His will and when we do, we must not be ashamed of it! Furthermore, we must be willing to properly handle it and interpret it, because the salvation of our souls and others depends on how we “divide” the word of truth.
Have you stepped up to the challenge from God to grow and properly handle His laws and commandments? Are you willing to take the time necessary to rightly divide that which He has entrusted to you? May we all understand this awesome responsibility and do whatever it takes to measure up to what God truly wants!
With these things in mind we will be starting a new series of study today entitled, “Let Your Light So Shine.” Hopefully together we can explore those things from God’s Word which we are to imitate, in order to be pleasing in His sight. Our specific lesson of the day will deal with, “Wisdom!”
To lead us in this study of the day, we are happy to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us. Brother Jerry is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Sullins will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
Good morning and we would like to welcome you to this first program of the New Year 2011! It’s a great delight to have you in our audience and I do hope and pray that every broadcast this year will be a real blessing for you and for your family.
We’ve been on the air since April of 1970 so we are approaching 40 years of continuous broadcasting every Sunday morning in this time slot since the beginning of this program many, many years ago. Many people have been led to know the truth and many people have had an opportunity to hear the truth, thousands upon thousands and that has been our goal. We seek not to in any way offend people, but we have only sought to preach and to teach God’s Holy Word. How could that be offensive? We only seek that in our preaching and teaching of the Word of God to have us all have a clearer and better understanding of what God’s Will is for us. Just today, I was in a local store and purchasing something and someone came up beside me and said, “Haven’t I seen you before?” I said, “Well, I don’t know about that.” She says, “I believe I have. Aren’t you on The Living Word broadcast?” I said, “Yes, I am.” And Donna, we want to thank you and every one of you who tune in to this broadcast every Sunday. We know that we are broadcasting these lessons for the purpose I have just stated. It is not our intention that these lessons are a period where you can forsake the assembly of the saints. That has never been our intention. But yet, there are many who are unable to go to services. There are many who are seeking the Truth will not come to our building, and so we’re just hoping to provide some opportunity for those who are at home, who cannot get out, an opportunity to hear God’s Word and to worship their God hopefully in Spirit and in Truth someday if not today.
The title of our lesson series for about 18 weeks is going to center around the subject of “Let Your Light So Shine,” in other words also, “Before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.” It was our precious Savior Jesus Christ who made the statement in Matthew 5 verse 13 where He actually said, “Let your light so shine before men.” But previous to that in verse 14, He said, “You are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid nor do men light a candle and put it under a basket, but yet on a lamp stand so that all that are in the room may clearly see or it will give light to all who are in the house. Therefore let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”
We’re going to be discussing some very important subjects and I think very interesting subjects, those likened to cooperation as children of God with one another and with those of the world. Cheerfulness, discernment, self reliance, morality, respect, joy, and many other subjects. And so I think we can look forward to with excitement to the subjects that we are going to be studying in the following weeks in this program in this New Year.
I call your attention to the subject of wisdom. For how can we let our light so shine before men unless we have some understanding of wisdom? It was Solomon who said years ago in the book of Proverbs that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It was this same Solomon who was offered an opportunity for many blessings back when he was a younger man and he chose wisdom and because of that God gave him not only wisdom but He gave him wealth and gave him all of the things that any person could ever achieve on the face of this earth. He may have been and may still be considered the richest man to have ever lived upon the face of the earth. The greatest thing that Solomon thought men ought to try and achieve is wisdom and in that he said, “You will receive that when you truly fear God.” It was his conclusion of the whole matter in Ecclesiastes chapter 12 when he said, “This is the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is man’s all or this is the whole duty of man,” as is stated in the King James Version of the Bible. So this is man’s all? What? To fear God and to keep His commandments. In this, we can find the wisdom of God.
So this morning, we want to discuss this subject of wisdom and try to have a clear understanding of it so that in the weeks to come you can seek the wisdom of God in all of these subjects that we are going to be discussing.
I call your attention to the book of James chapter 3 because a lot is said in the book of James that has to do with wisdom. James is a book of practical knowledge and practical understanding for all Christians. One of the greatest things that James is fighting against in the Christian’s life and trying to get Christians aware of and to get them to contend with a very serious problem in their lives and that was a series problem of worldliness which is greatly attached to the lust of one’s life. He points out different types of wisdom as we see in James chapter 3 reading there beginning with verse 13 where he says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom, but if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the Truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but it is earthly, sensual, demonic, for where envy and self-seeking exist confusion and every evil thing are there; but the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
So there is an earthly wisdom as we understand James is pointing out here. This is the wisdom that is not from God. We live in a society today that is filled with so-called earthly wisdom. Its nature is earthly. Its nature is sensual. Its nature is demonic and everywhere we look, as James described here in James chapter 3, we see that earthly, sensual and demonic wisdom held by man. We live in a society today that I call sometimes the “I think society.” Because as you ask people what they believe, they will say, “I think that it’s alright for a person to live together with another person without being married.” Isn’t that the truth among many people today? Well certainly it is. There are people who say that, “I think it is okay to drink and to get drunk.” There are people who say, “I think that it is alright for me to take drugs” and to do all other types of things that destroy their bodies. There are people that say, “I think that it is okay for a person just to believe that Jesus is the Christ and He can be saved.” This is earthly wisdom. This is wisdom that is of man.
No doubt the apostle Paul was questioned concerning his own wisdom as we look in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 Paul is speaking of wisdom in another light than what James spoke of it, but he said in verse 1, “And I brethren, when I came to you did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring unto you the testimony of God.” What type of wisdom then did he come with? He said, “I didn’t come with excellence of speech or wisdom.” He is talking about his own wisdom because he said in verse 4, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom but in demonstration of the spirit and of power.”
Then look at verse 6. He was saying concerning he and the other apostles, “However we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age nor the rulers of this age who are coming to nothing.” Well what did they speak?
Verse 7 says, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages within our glory.”
Then he went on to say in verse 13, “These things we also speak not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” So Paul said, “The wisdom that we are speaking is the wisdom concerning spiritual things. It is God’s wisdom presented by (whom?) the Holy Spirit.”
Now my friends, where is that wisdom found? If we were to look into all libraries of this world and seek for a book that gives us man’s wisdom we could look at almost any book. But if we are seeking for God’s wisdom, what would we look in? We would look into this book that we call “The Book of Books” the Bible, God’s Holy Inspired, Infallible, Inerrant Word. That’s where we find God’s wisdom. So when we are seeking in the next few weeks to talk about cooperation and cheerfulness and joy and morality and self-reliance and all these wonderful Biblical subjects, also patience and endurance, when we are thinking about all of these things, whose wisdom do we want to accept on these matters? Would it be man’s wisdom? I’m not saying man is not wise and cannot be wise, but in things that relate to salvation, in things that relate to our spiritual lives we need to seek but one wisdom and that is the wisdom from God Himself. This is what is called a heavenly wisdom.
Now James mentioned that wisdom and let’s go back to the book of James again. We’re going to look at James 1 verse 17. It is from a certain source. That is God’s wisdom is from a certain source and it says in James 1 verse 17, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation nor shadow of turning.” Yes, it is for us to have. God promised that for us.
In fact, James even said in James chapter 1 verse 5, he said, “If any of you lacks wisdom…” that is the wisdom that saves, the wisdom that directs us on how we should live. What did James say here? “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him.”
So what is the source of all wisdom that is essential for our salvation? It is God Himself! Where is it found? It is found in God’s Holy Book that Book that we call the Bible.
Further wisdom is described here as we go on here in James chapter 3 in verse 17 if you are following along in your Bible, it says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, it’s peaceable, it’s gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” Now what is that talking about? That’s talking about the life that one lives after he obtains this wisdom from God. So after we obtain that great wisdom from God, how do we live? We live a pure life. “Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this that we visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and we keep ourselves unspotted from the world.” James said that in this very book in James chapter 1.
What a beautiful description of the Christian’s life. It has to be pure. It has to be peaceable. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and we are the ones who are also supposed to live in a peaceful way. We are blessed when we are the peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons or the children of God.”
That wisdom from above guides us into being gentle people, being humble and humbling ourselves before other men, not ready always to abuse and to fight as James is also going to speak about in James chapter 4, the fourth chapter of this book. It is a wisdom that causes us to be willing to yield. Yield to whom? To others! What is the Golden Rule all about? “Whatever you would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.” Jesus said that if someone seeks to abuse you or persecute you or say things against you falsely, we are supposed to love that person having that gentle spirit, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits.
Again we go back to the context of the statement that Jesus made in Matthew 5 at the beginning of the lesson for us to “Let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.”
No sincere Christian who ever reads the Bible does not fail to understand. They will understand and they will gain the wisdom that shows them that it is necessary for us to work the works of Him who sent us while it is day for the night comes when no man can work.
It is a wisdom that is without partiality that causes us to look not at one’s race, not necessarily at anything that would divide us. Oh, we can judge as the Bible tells us according to the sins of someone, but God was also not partial whether a person was a Jew or a Greek. It matters not what nation one might come from or what the color of his or her skin might be. Wisdom causes us to be impartial and without hypocrisy and that simply means this that whatever we do; we will not be a hypocrite. We will make sure that we are doing it according to the wisdom of God that we find in His Holy Word.
So throughout these next few weeks, about 18 weeks in fact, we’re going to be studying from God’s Word concerning these all important subjects that causes us to look at the wisdom of God to make sure that our lives are in accordance with His Will.
Now it would be wisdom, my friends that would cause us to want to do what Jesus would ask us to do to be saved. Have you done that? Have you expressed your belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Jesus said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Have you repented and turned away from your sins? You must repent. Jesus said, “I tell you nay except you repent you will perish.” You must, as we have said, confess His precious name (Romans 10:9-10) and you must, contrary to what man might say, be baptized for the remission of your sins.
We’re calling on you today to seek the wisdom of God, to do His Will and not man’s will. It is not whatever man would say unto you. It is what God would say unto you and what God would want you to do to be saved. We call upon you today to do that. We pray that God’s richest blessings will be upon you throughout this New Year and you will truly find the wisdom of God and display it in your lives.
(SONG # 3 - “Kneel At The Cross!”)
What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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So what type of wisdom are you standing in today; God’s or that of the Earth? Why not make sure right now that you are focused first and foremost on Spiritual things, therefore following that wisdom which is from above! Isn’t heaven worth the effort?