The Life God Rewards October 24-28
James asked his readers, “What sort of wisdom, earthly or heavenly, is guiding you?” Each of us wants to live a life that has the blessing of God upon it. In light of this desire, we would be well-served to know what kind of life God rewards. What is it that God is looking for as a place to bestow His favor? More simply stated, He is looking for those who will demonstrate His character and nature toward others. To help you to live in His will, ask God to help you develop true wisdom as the dominant characteristic of your life.
Day 1 James 3:13-18; James 1:5
Reflect: How do you define “wisdom” based on this passage? How do you think an unbeliever defines “wisdom”? What are some key tenets of earthly wisdom? Of heavenly wisdom?
Apply: What are examples of the attitudes that come from wisdom (verse 17)? Which of these are part of your everyday life? Do you and when have you asked God for wisdom?
Pray: Father, I pray that my life demonstrates Your wisdom from above. May I reflect the pure, gentle, and merciful nature of Jesus as His life shines through me.
Day 2 James 4:1-17
Reflect: Where do you see James preaching for godly wisdom to be put into practice? How does “earthly’ wisdom play out in life? What is its true source?
Apply: What shows up in your life that demonstrates that you may be overly attached to the world? Why are friends of the world enemies of God? Must you hate the world? Why?
Pray: Father, I confess that I am too easily drawn into thinking and acting in worldly ways. As You draw me close, may the attraction of the world fade away as You become my all in all.
Day 3 Proverbs 1:20-33
Reflect: What are some of wisdom’s words of warnings and of promises? How does a person recognize whether he is a simpleton (fool) or a wise person?
Apply: The wise person in Proverbs is parallel to a “saved” person in the New Testament. How has Jesus’ gift of salvation given you wisdom to live the life God rewards?
Pray: Jesus, through your Holy Spirit, You have made Your wisdom and guidance known. Guide me through Your Word and teachings that I might live the abundant life here and be blessed in the life to come.
Day 4 Ephesians 5:8-17
Reflect: What does Paul tell us to do about darkness? How do we do that and why? Considering verse 13, how should we live our lives? What is a sign of wisdom in a believer’s life?
Apply: A life that God rewards is a life that pleases Him. How has Jesus’ light produced what is good, right and true in you? What dark things in your life need to be exposed by light?
Pray: Lord Jesus, I long to reflect the light of Your love as I journey through this dark world. Please help me to walk in spirit and truth so that I may be used as a vessel through whom Your love, grace, healing, and forgiveness, flows to others.
Day 5 1 Corinthians 3:10-20
Reflect: What does Paul mean when he said that he “laid a foundation”? How does this text speak to a life God rewards? What kind of works will survive? What kind will burn up? Why is it important?
Apply: What did you once think as wise but now see as foolish? Will your work last or is it just hay and straw? How can you start to build on the “Foundation” with things of eternal value?
Pray: Lord keep me from allowing the mind-set of the world to infiltrate my heart and affect my witness. I pray that I may develop spiritual wisdom, ready to share the hope I have in Christ, the Rock of my salvation and the Foundation Stone of my faith.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 5: Name the five opinion leaders in your life—people in church, school, work, the media, etc.— to whom you regularly pay attention to their insights and ideas. With a humble heart and based on the teaching in James 3:13–18, are these people speaking God’s wisdom into your life?