James 3:13-18 – True Wisdom

Read James 3:13-18

We can tell a lot about James’ audience by what he teaches them. It seems they may have had a lot of similar faults to people we may recognize. Jealousy, selfishness, boasting, and lying are not uncommon in our culture today and might even be running rampant. What does James say about that? “Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.”

Take a moment to let that sink in. Demonic. It makes sense. Those attributes are certainly distasteful when you have experienced the Holy Spirit living inside you. James warns us to stay away from such things, for in them evil resides. Clearly his readers are having a hard time trading in their worldly habits and ideas in exchange for God’s viewpoint.  Thankfully, James gives us a solution.

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James 1:1-8 – Trials of Life

Read James 1:1-8

As I read from James, I can’t help but try to picture what it was like to be Jesus’ earthly brother. (This book is believed to be written by Jesus’ half-brother, not James the apostle.) What would the sibling rivalry have looked like? We don’t know much about Jesus as a child, teenager, or young man. As Jesus’ brother, James would have an interesting perspective to be sure. Yet curiously, James identifies himself in the opening as “a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” James has taken his own place in helping others navigate their lives as followers of Christ.

In this letter from James, we’ll see how he tries to set things straight in terms of living a Christian life. It’s so much more than just saying you’re a Christian. The truths you’ll uncover could be summed up as a “how-to” for Christian living. Even though James wasn’t one of the chosen twelve, he was a leader in the early church having stayed in Jerusalem to begin his ministry there to Jewish Christians. His target audience for this letter are the persecuted Christians in hostile surroundings, much like we experience in our own trials of faith.

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1 Kings 10:1-13 – A Visit From A Queen

Read 1 Kings 10:1-13

girl putting a tiara on her head

Solomon’s wisdom has made quite the impression on the Queen of Sheba. She is almost oozing with admiration over what she has seen with her own eyes.

I had to remember that the Queen would have gotten her “intel” from others who had heard or seen King Solomon. Obviously, their account was not quite accurate. The Queen wasn’t relying on a social media presence, a blog article, or any such thing. Our means of obtaining information these days is not only fast, but it is also not always correct.

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1 Kings 5:1-18 – Strong Alliance

Read 1 Kings 5:1-18

two hands shaking

It’s good to see that Solomon continued the alliance his father had started with King Hiram. Too many times when new leadership moves in old alliances are forgotten. From this account, it would seem like the bond is even stronger now between these two men and their respective kingdoms.

It starts with King Hiram extending his well wishes. Solomon seizes the opportunity and does something we see happening all the time in the business world. He had a need, and he knew the solution he was looking for. Then it simply came down to the “who do you know?” question. Solomon was networking when his perfect partner showed up to continue the relationship!

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1 Kings 3:16-28 – What Wisdom!

Read 1 Kings 3:16-28

A sign with the word WISDOM on it, nailed to a tree or pole

This story has always been particularly memorable to me. How Solomon handles this situation is brilliant. Both women are making a case. But when it comes down to it, Solomon knew how to trigger a “mother’s instinct” to protect. He was blessed with wisdom from on high.

Did you find it interesting that the story line twist includes the fact these women were prostitutes? What does the fact, that prostitutes were used as key players in this example of wisdom, say to you? To me, it says, clearly, that God’s justice is for all.

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