God Gives Wisdom
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5)
Michael's parents were late picking him up from school, so he walked down the hall to Mr. Bruce's classroom to wait until they came. Mr. Bruce was the 10th grade teacher at Michael's school, and he had the most interesting room! Michael and the other 4th-graders were never sorry when they had to wait a little longer if it meant being able to visit Mr. Bruce!
Michael found a desk and plopped himself down. Then he started to look around Mr. Bruce's classroom. Right away, the bulletin board caught his attention. There was a poster of a man with lots of books around him. The man looked like he was thinking really hard and that he was writing something important. Next to the poster were these words: "Lack wisdom? Ask God! James 1:5."
Wisdom. What is wisdom anyway? Michael really wanted to know, so he decided to ask Mr. Bruce. "Mr. Bruce, what does your bulletin board mean? I don't understand it."
"That's a great question, Michael!" replied Mr. Bruce. "It's a wonderful promise God has given to us! Let me read the whole verse out of the Bible to you. It's from James 1:5: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.'"
"Oh. That verse is full of all kinds of big words I don't know!" exclaimed Michael.
"Well, let's see if I can explain it to you in an easier way," said Mr. Bruce. "Having wisdom means knowing how to decide what is right and good. And if you lack something, well, to lack means that you need something that you don't have. So the first part of the verse says that if you need help with knowing about doing the right thing, you can ask God. But the verse says more than that. God gives wisdom 'liberally' and He doesn't 'upbraid' us. If someone is a liberal giver, he's not stingy. And to upbraid someone means to scold him, or give him a hard time."
"Like my sister Tracey does when I ask her if she'll help me with my homework?" asked Michael.
"Yes, probably so," chuckled Mr. Bruce. "But God isn't like that at all! The Bible says that when we need His help, He wants us to come to Him and to ask Him for wisdom. He won't be angry with us. Instead, He generously gives us the wisdom we need!"
"Wow, that's a great promise, Mr. Bruce! There are lots of times when I'm not sure if what I'm doing is the right thing or not. But now that I know that God can help me, I can just ask Him, right?"
"That's right, Michael!"
If we ask God for help figuring out what's right and what's wrong, God promises to help.
» When I need help do I go to God and ask Him for wisdom, or do I try to figure out what's best on my own?
Truth In Real Life
“Go all out for God, and God will go all out for you.”
There once was a woodpecker who flew to the top of a tall pine tree and began to peck on the bark like woodpeckers often do. A terrible storm moved in. Suddenly, a bolt of lighting struck the pine and sent the entire tree into a pile of splinters. After a moment of stunned silence, the bird said, “Well, well, well! Who would have imagined that just three pecks of my beak could have such power as that!” The bird truly believed that it was his strength – and not the lightning – that had destroyed the tree.
Jonathan Goforth heard the “woodpecker story” early in his ministry and it changed his life. He explained that, as Christians, we are like the bird and God’s power is like the lightning. We cannot take credit for God’s power any more than the bird can take credit for the lightning.
He chose as his personal motto, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6b).
Goforth was born on February 10, 1859, near Ontario, Canada. At a young age, he learned to love reading the Bible. People around him would find him memorizing verses and praying to God. Expected to help with the family farm, he worked a full-time job and attended school at the same time. At age 15, he was put in charge of all the operations of his family’s second farm. His father said simply, “Work hard. At harvest I’ll return and inspect.”
At age 18, Jonathan Goforth fell under great conviction over his sinfulness and need for a Savior. He gave his life to Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, he encountered a biography about the life of Hudson Taylor – a missionary to China – and determined to follow in Taylor’s footsteps.
Jesus Christ is coming back one day. Like Goforth’s father promised to return, so also Jesus Christ has promised to return. Are you working faithfully so that He will be pleased to see how you honored His wishes and carried on His work that He left you to do? Everything we do is able to get done only because of God’s strength. Are you relying on God’s power and grace to help you do what He’s given you to do?
Mark 13:33 – “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.”