Practical Christianity: Top Shelf, Good Stuff

Practical Christianity: Top Shelf, Good Stuff Sermon Audio Here


James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

In America, the meaning of Top Shelf refers to high quality merchandise that needs to be specifically referenced to purchase. It started as a bar term for expensive liquor stored on the top shelf, but now has broadened to refer to anything of high value that needs to be ordered by name.

Want to Live a Top Shelf Christian Life?

Your Contents Have to Match the Label
James 3:13-18

  • v13 show what you know about God
  • v14 ALSO if you’re selfish, keep it inside
  • v15 SELF-focused wisdom ISN’T WISDOM
  • v16 “self-wisdom”, filtered through flesh = chaos!
  •      cf. Jud. 21:25 “right in their own eyes”
  • v17 attribute checklist; “submissive” = ONLY HERE; easy to be entreated
  • v18 James focused on here & now: righteous harvest NOW, not just in eternity

Your Conduct Shows Your Motivation for Life
James 4:1-3

  • v1 notice the emphasis on the INNER battle
  • v2 “want” = Set Your Heart; on what do you set your heart?
  • v3 James’ answer to “you have not because you ask not”;
  •      Why do you ask? What motivates your prayer?

You Are A Channel for Ministry
James 4:7-8

  • v7 “submit” in middle voice = be submitted to; live as a receiver from God;
  •      “resist” = stand against; ACTIVE opposition
  • v8a ref. OT priests; take deliberate steps into God’s presence

God, the Master Craftsman, is making something beautiful and complex out of your life. You might feel “unfinished” or “in process” right now – but remember, you wear Jesus’ name!

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Pastor Ed Backell

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