One of the many memorable verses from the book of James is this promise in James 1:5.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
I can’t help laugh at the word “if” (no offense, James). But, if? Who doesn’t lack wisdom? Which of us would ever say we are sufficiently wise to navigate life in our fallen world as fallen but redeemed people? We are living days that desperately demand that we seek wisdom. And not just life hacks. Not just plug and play steps to self-improvement.
We need the mind of Christ. We need God’s law internalized in the heart. It’s what Christ died to bring about in us. It’s part of the gospel message. Jesus didn’t just live and die and rise again to make us forgiven, but also to make us wise.
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)
Did you see that? Proclaiming Christ includes warning and teaching with all wisdom. Growing toward maturity requires listening to the warning and teaching of the wisdom of God. To help us in this, we’ve decided to preach through the first nine chapters of Proverbs this fall in a series we are calling Walk with the Wise.
The book of Proverbs is a gospel book, because it is part of the Bible. That means the book of Proverbs is good news for bad people. It is about grace for sinners. It is about hope for failures. It is about wisdom for idiots. This book is Jesus himself coming to us as our counselor, as our sage, as our life coach. The Lord Jesus Christ is a competent thinker for all times and all cultures. He is a genius. And he freely offers us, even us, his unique wisdom.
Do you remember how he concluded his Sermon on the Mount? He defined the gospel as a call to wisdom: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock… And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” Jesus is our priest and prophet, but in the book of Proverbs we encounter Jesus as our mentor. Do you see him that way? You can have him that way – the universe’s greatest expert on you. He alone is qualified to have that kind of say into your life. (Ray Ortlund, Wisdom that Works)
This Sunday will be a reading service of the first nine chapters of Proverbs. Would you pray that God would give us wisdom generously as we listen to his fatherly warning and teaching this fall?
We will not be meeting in person for outdoor worship due to the extreme heat forecast but will livestream our service at 9:00am. See you online and come hungry!
Link of the Week
Proverbs: A Mini Guide to Life blog post by Tim Keller