November 19, 2005


James 1:1-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all ... James 1:5


It takes a lot of wisdom to run a business. It takes a lot of wisdom to raise children. It takes a lot of wisdom to be a teacher or a leader in the community. It takes a lot of wisdom to be a faithful, conscientious worker and to live well, especially as a Christian. Think of all the issues we face every day. Where shall I draw the line between what is right and what is wrong? How shall I determine what is moral and what is immoral? How can I make decisions that are wise? The entire book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is written to help believers draw the line between wisdom and folly. When Solomon came to the throne to fill the shoes of his father, David, the first thing he asked God for was a wise and discerning heart. This request pleased God greatly. Here in the book of James, God repeats how pleased he is when his children ask for wisdom. God is so pleased that he will never turn them down. What an invitation! We learn wisdom through study. We gain wisdom through the experiences of living. We develop wisdom by watching and learning from others. We also receive wisdom when we ask God for it. According to James, we all ought to be praying for wisdom daily. And "God, who gives generously to all without finding fault," will give it.

Great God, I claim your promise today and ask that you give me wisdom for each decision I must make and each task I must do. Grant this gift for Jesus' sake, O Lord. Amen.

About the author — Howard Vanderwell

Rev. Howard Vanderwell was involved in pastoral ministry in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, serving as a pastor in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Upon retirement in 2002, he began his work at Calvin Seminary, where he helped train the ministers of the next generation. Howard and his wife, Eleanor, were married for 57 years and had three married sons and ten grandchildren.

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