We’re members of Crossroads Baptist Church, pastored by Larry York. Pastor Larry is the real deal, a true shepherd and disciple of Christ. He’s teaching out of James and I want to get as much as I can out of it. So I plan to write a post for each sermon, including both my sermon notes and personal reflections.

James 1:5-12

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Sermon Notes

“James Series – Growing Up: A Living Faith That Makes A Difference – Seeing Trials Through God’s Eyes Part 2″ (10/24/2010)

  • We will go through trials. So what do we do once we’re there?
  • Joy is not found in things like cancer. Joy is found in how God is fashioning us through that trial.
  • “Knowledge is the ability to take things apart while wisdom is the ability to put things together.” Warren Wiersbe
  • Why ask for wisdom? So that we won’t waste the opportunities God has provided us to grow us up.
  • God is the source of wisdom – Proverbs 2:6.
  • Wisdom is knowing what to do when there is no precedent.
  • We don’t have to beat wisdom out of God. He doesn’t hold back.
  • We can ask God for something over and over again. We’re not irritating God by coming to Him again and again.
  • This seems so simple, which is why going to God may be the last thing we think to do.
  • Jeremiah 9:23-24
    * We don’t go to God because of pride.
    * Our culture has encouraged pride in individuals, that we don’t need anyone else.
    * Faith comes from humility.
  • Living a life of humility is not real popular. It’s not popular to say that we need help, because that’s admitting weakness.
  • Remember the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me”.
  • Hebrews – without faith it’s impossible to please God.
  • Ask yourself honestly, “Do I really, really, really trust God?”
  • The greatest enemy to prayer is unbelief.
  • Pray to God believing.
  • We’ve been challenged to find inner strength to solve our problems. Pray that the Holy Spirit softens hearts so that we’re willing to go to Him in our problems.

Personal Reflections

The thing that stands out to me the most in this sermon is the thought that pride, which is often thought of as a good thing in Western culture, limits the depth of our relationship with God. Come to think of it, it can limit our relationships with other people because it’s hard to be open and honest with someone when you’re trying to present yourself as perfect.

But back to pride limiting my relationship with God – when I have a problem or decision to make and fail to even think about praying about it and seeking guidance, I’m basically telling God, “I don’t need you. I’ll invite you into my life when I’ve exhausted all other options.” Ouch. That hurt just typing it. Of course, if anyone asked me the direct question, “Do you realize that you can do nothing apart from Jesus?” I would say, “Absolutely!” It’s funny how our so-called beliefs and actual actions can be so far apart.

Prayer

Abba, please continue to show me the subtle ways that I’m allowing pride to affect the way I live my life. And please help me to be more real with you and everyone else. Thank you for being patient with me and for continuing to work in my life. I don’t deserve You.

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