Wisdom Not of God: Is Selfishly Ambitious Part 2  James 3:14

Am I self-centered? Selfishly ambitious?  

Yesterday, we LOOKED at this wisdom not of God, beginning with the green eyed monster, bitter jealousy.

Today, we will LOOK at selfish ambition, the next characteristic that is at the root of this false wisdom.

Open the App to the Book of James.

TIP: Work in the Split View or Toggle (go back and forth) between the App and the Blog.

Let’s Pray

Lord, we love Your Holy Word, that is perfectsure, right, and pure. Restore us today, make the wise simple and our hearts rejoice as You open our eyes, (Psa 19:7-8). Thank you!

LOOK at What God Says

 Let GODcha guide you.

How will you begin?

READ God’s Word

Read James Ch 3, verses 13-18, asking the 5W’s and H. 

Let’s continue to focus on verse 14.

What are the 2 characteristics that are at the root (in the heart) of the wisdom NOT of God?

Unlock the Meaning to the Text

What is the next characteristic that is key to this false wisdom?

Do you remember the definitions for ‘selfish ambition‘ and ‘the heart‘? They are just a tap away.

Scholars say: Selfish ambition originally meant work for hire.  Then it came to mean any work done for pay. Then it came to mean the kind of work done solely for what could be got out of it. Then it entered politics and came to mean that selfish ambition which was out for self and for nothing else and was ready to use any means to gain its ends.

God Uses Truth to Explain Truth

Let’s LOOK and LISTEN carefully to more of what God says about these characteristics.

1. Describe those who are selfishly ambitious.   

Those who are selfishly ambitious do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. (Rom 2:8)

We see: Those who are selfishly ambitious obey unrighteousness, thus not talking about believers.

LISTEN…

How do I know if I am selfishly ambitious?

Do I have a heart that wants to obey the truth?

Or, do I have a problem obeying the truth?

Why would I rather obey unrighteousness, wrath, and indignation?  

Respond to God…LIVE it out! 

 

2. What do you learn about believers and selfishness?

Believers do nothing from selfishness [strife,rivalry. Representing a motive of self–interest, mercenary interest ] or empty conceit [self glory, desiring praise], but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. (Phil 2:3)

THINK: selfishness is connected to strife which puts us at conflict with everybody else, quarreling, arguing, and fighting. Always concerned with advancing self.

We see: empty conceit is about self glory.

LISTEN…

Can I honestly say I do nothing from selfishness, self promotion and glory?  

Do I sincerely regard others as more important than myself?

Or, am I selfishly ambitious, self-centered, thinking of no one but myself?

Am I antagonistic, causing conflict and strife?

Is my goal – personal fulfillment no matter the cost? 

Is my conversation selfless, or constantly –  ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’?

How can I overcome selfishness?

Respond to God…LIVE it out! 

 

3. What do you learn about hearts? What are we to do, knowing these qualities (bitter jealousy and selfish ambition) are found in the heart?

a. God gives those of faith new hearts. (Eze 36:26)

bWatch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. (Pro 4:23)

THINK: With new hearts the habit of our lives would not be self-centeredness, but God centeredness, Jesus centered.

THINK: This means bitter jealousy and self interests and ambitions would not be a habit of our lives. We would serve God without any underlying motives.

LISTEN…

Am I watching over my heart with diligence? How?

Respond to God…LIVE it out! 

 

4. How do we overcome bitterness, jealousy, and being selfish?

a. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (by God’s Word) so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2)

Remember the definition for heart?  The heart and mind are often interchangeable.

Understand: the only way our minds can be renewed is through God’s Wisdom, His Word.

 

b. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:12-13)

 

c. Be content with who and where you are, and with what you have. (Heb 13:5)

Contentment, is the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are.

THINK: Do you remember what we LEARNED a while back about God? 

 God makes poor and He makes rich, thus, He is supreme at where you are at. (1Sa 2:4)

We see: the way to overcome bitter jealousy and selfishness is to:

  • Remember God is Sovereign over where we are at and what we have;
  • Overcome through Christ who strengthens us; and
  • Be content.

LISTEN…

Is renewing my mind a priority in my life? 

Am I content?  If not, what must I do to be content?

Respond to God…LIVE it out! 

What Have We Learned 

Sum It Up

Bitterness:

  • Describes Unbelievers: those under sin and not righteous.
  • Is associated with wrath, anger, slander, malice.
  • Is to be put away.
  • Is not to be allowed to spring up.

Jealousy:

  • Describes Unbelievers.
  • Is a deed of the flesh.

Selfishly Ambitious:

Describes Unbelievers: those who obey unrighteousness, wrath, indignation.

Believers:

  • Have crucified the flesh.
  • Do nothing from selfish empty conceit.
  • Regard others as more important than themselves.
  • Receive New Hearts.
  • Watch over hearts with diligence.

 

That’s It for Today!

Think about what God revealed to us. Examine your heart. God loves you. Talk to Him!

Journal Your Discovery

You know what to do!

Let’s Pray

GRACIOUS FATHER, we thank you for taking we who were not wise, and giving us Your wisdom that is from above. Thank you for new hearts and Your Spirit who is teaching us Your wisdom right now, this very moment, renewing our minds.  Oh Father, I ask that you would show us if we are selfishly ambitious, promoting ourselves, wanting human recognition and glorification? Oh Father, forgive us! May we repent and confess, and be cleansed! Help each one of us to be content right where you have us, and also with what we have.

If there are any on this journey with us who realize they are selfishly ambitious, still living in this wisdom that is not of You, please grant them understanding today. May they truly begin to fear You and put their faith in You, Lord Jesus. Thank you for all You have done for us. For dying for us, so we could be ushered into this wisdom from above. We ask these things in Your matchless, holy, name. Amen!

 

Next: we will continue to LOOK at this wisdom that is NOT of God.

Need the GODcha Bible Guide? Go to www.Godcha.org and subscribe.

 

2018-08-13T20:09:37+00:00

About the Author:

Janette has started Bible studies everywhere God has moved her—most filling up to over a 100 men, women, young adults and kids. She continues to make disciples and raise up leaders, training and teaching the Word of God.

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