At Large Group, Matt Ng spoke on James 1:5-12. As we are going through James in GOC, Matt reminded us how James is a New Testament book filled with wisdom and application. As Jesus’ brother, James knew Jesus his whole life and saw how Jesus truly did what He preached. In the message, Matt shared some points on how Christ, through James, calls us to know the perspective of divine wisdom, divine economy, and divine reward.
For the perspective of divine wisdom, in verses 5-8, James talks about how we should seek wisdom and ask God for it. James 1:5 says “…let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” This part was especially helpful for me since I often forget that God gives wisdom to us if we ask for it. It’s very easy for me to want to attain knowledge and wisdom based on my own understanding and experience, when in fact it’s God who gives all wisdom and truth. Matt made the point of God giving wisdom without reproach, meaning God won’t rebuke us for not having enough wisdom. He is all wisdom and He is who we should cling to if we want to have more.
The second point about God’s divine economy was a little confusing at first. Matt pointed out that one of the counter-intuitive concepts in the Bible is that the lowly will be exalted and the rich will be humbled. The humiliation of the rich man is to remind him that earthly riches have no value in God’s economy. Man’s true riches, whether he is rich or poor, reside in God’s grace. James says that flowering grass fades away (James 1:10-11) which shows how the things of the earth will pass away. I found this point to be similar to a passage in 1 John 2:15-17 which says that the world is passing away.
The next point about divine reward in verse 12 talks about the man who perseveres under trial. This man will receive the crown of life which God has promised. This is a glorious reminder of how we are to persevere under trials and it reminded me of James 1:2-4. There is an eternal reward that comes after the trials on earth. It was helpful for me to look back to Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
11.05..21 Fall 2021 Week 6