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Words of Faith 5-14-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 3:13-18

   Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.   But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.


      We are a culture that is hungry for wise leadership and understanding.  We crave someone with knowledge but thirst even more for someone with wisdom and understanding.  But it isn't that easy, is it?  Half of the bestselling books claim to have both.  Every place we turn there are new "spiritual leaders" hawking a scheme. And the church scene is often not much better.  What are we to do?  With all this confusion, how will we know if we are listening to true wisdom? James tells us.

         Leadership that has true wisdom is marked not just by words but deeds done in humility.  No "photo ops" or "sound bites" here.  No flashy mission segment in the daily broadcast.  You will have to watch carefully to catch true wisdom at work in humility.  Quietly.  No undue attention.  Here is a litmus test: Can you obey God in a completely anonymous and unselfish act?  That is a mark of true wisdom. 

         Leadership that has true wisdom is NOT marked by bitter envy and selfish ambition.  That is a red flag.  The leader who spends a lot of time putting down others flags a sure sign of envy! The leader who defines themselves by criticizing others and who seems more concerned with their climb to prominence?  Nope.  These are sure signs something is wrong, earthly, unspiritual, and "of the devil" to be honest.  There will be confusion and disorder as a result. 

        True wisdom is pure, having no ulterior motives.   That is something we may sense right away or even see as time goes on.  True wisdom is peace-loving. Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, commanding swords be put away.

        True wisdom is considerate.  Paul said love is not rude. Neither is the wise leader. Rude attacks are never necessary even when the "wise" attacker is correct.  We never saw that in Jesus. Was Jesus clever or sarcastic?  He could have shredded the hypocrisy of those who opposed Him. Instead, he talked to those who would listen and visited with them late at night.

         Is true wisdom submissive?  That's what James says.  Surprised?  The greatest leader is obviously first a follower.  Followship is a prerequisite to leadership.  If a leader is not surrendered to God, he or she is not a Godly leader.  Period. 

         A wise leader is also not afraid to give in, to submit to a better idea.  Pride will not get in the way.  True wisdom is full of mercy.  Mercy is the quality of God that gives another chance and moves on and even overlooks the "right to be right."  True wisdom is impartial.  No favorites here.  Mercy for all.

         And finally, true wisdom is sincere.  A business coach once said that sincerity is important in business that you must fake it if necessary.  Unfortunately, sincerity is the one thing you absolutely cannot fake.  True wisdom comes without masks.  

          Well, how do you measure up? Only by the grace of Jesus can all that take place?  Exactly.  Is it a little more clear who you should follow?   Good.  Have a great day in Jesus.



    Lord, give me Your wisdom and understanding.  Lead me to quiet and humble acts that honor You alone.  Make me pure; peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.  I pray for a harvest of righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2009, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.