Devotionals by Dr. Stephen Davey

The Grass Is Always Greener . . .

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
Do Christians compete with one another? Do they compare business cards and job titles? Do they notice neighborhoods and automobiles and the designer labels of others on Sunday morning? Are they tempted to share their child’s latest accomplishments given the slightest opportunity?  Do they ever posture themselves for positions in the church?
Unfortunately, yes.
James warns us that jealousy, self-centered ambition, and bitterness will hinder our testimony and may even destroy the effectiveness of our lives.
History, both secular and scriptural, is replete with those who harbored envy within and ultimately were destroyed by it. Perhaps one of the most prominent examples was King Saul. He disobeyed God’s orders given through the prophet Samuel for the battle at the city of Amalek, then set up a monument to himself. Ultimately, Saul was rebuked by Samuel and told that the Lord regretted that He had made him king over Israel (1 Samuel 15). His jealousy of David’s popularity with the people of Israel led him to plot David’s death (1 Samuel 19), even though David had married one of his daughters and was his son’s best friend. Saul died by his own sword as the end of his life dwindled to that of an undistinguished man.  
James is telling us that we, like Saul, will destroy ourselves with envy and bitterness. James is encouraging us to grow up in wisdom and understanding—to apply and focus God’s truth in our lives.
While James describes the “normal” practice of everyone around you, he wants you to know that acceptability of the majority’s actions is a far cry from the desired response. 
Never confuse the wisdom of the majority with the wisdom of God. The wisdom of the world might sound good and seem right but remember that Solomon wrote: There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).
D.L. Moody once said that if someone had a business that was able to photograph the spiritual condition of people’s hearts, he’d go bankrupt. No one would hire him!
James begins this text by writing, If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. Frankly, every Christian would have to admit to the same verdict: Guilty!  However, the verb for “to have” (echete) actually means “to harbor or foster.” 
This means the person whose growth in wisdom is stunted doesn’t just struggle with self-centeredness . . . he welcomes it. He isn’t confessing it—he’s nursing it. Like a pot boiling with ambition and jealous thoughts, he keeps it simmering.
Do you want disorder in your family? Keep envying your neighbor’s possessions. Do you want disorder in your church?  Keep seeking ministry opportunities that will allow you to be recognized. Do you want disorder on your job? Keep complaining when others around you are praised or promoted.
It comes down to this: are you content in Christ? The cure for jealousy and selfish ambition is thanksgiving and humility. Begin thanking God today for all that you have . . . and are.
Prayer Point: Who are you envious of today? Confess your envy to God, and then pray for Him to give you contentment as you focus, not on what you don’t have, but on what you have.
Extra Refreshment: Read Psalms 9, where David wrestles with the fact that ungodly men seem to “have it made.”

I Pledge Allegiance

As citizens of two kingdoms, Christians face the unique challenge of determining where their allegiance should lie. Do believers pledge allegiance to one nation or to one God above all nations? The Church finds itself in a similar crisis: Is its mission to reform politics or to redeem people?

In this exposition of Romans 13:1-7, Stephen clarifies the believer’s responsibility as a dual citizen of heaven and earth. He also examines the difficult relationship between Church and State, encouraging the Church to focus more on saving Americans than saving America.

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About Wisdom for the Heart

Wisdom for the Heart is an international Bible-teaching ministry based on the sermons of Dr. Stephen Davey. The broadcast Wisdom for the Heart is heard on more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States, as well as transmitted to the Middle East (Arabic), Europe (English), Latin America (Spanish), and Africa (Swahili).


About Dr. Stephen Davey

Stephen Davey is the son of missionary parents and was raised to love Christ, His Church, and His Word. In his last year of high school, Stephen committed his life to serving Christ and prepared for a life of servant-leadership at Liberty University, Tennessee Temple University, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Following graduation from Dallas Seminary in 1986, Stephen and Marsha trusted Christ for His provision and moved with their infant twin sons to Cary, NC, to plant Colonial Baptist Church. From the beginning, Stephen preached verse-by-verse, while Marsha created the nursery and children’s programs. In those early days, word of this new church’s commitment to Bible exposition spread rapidly around town, and the fellowship was soon overflowing with attendees.

After worshipping in a school for six years, Colonial moved into its first building, located on seven acres. Within a year, the church not only outgrew its first building but the entire master plan. Nine years later Colonial moved to its present location on forty acres, where several buildings have been designed to maximize outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. The church family currently engages in more than 100 ministries carried out by several thousand volunteers and led by an excellent, Christ-honoring administrative support team and pastoral staff. Their united global vision remains front and center as the Word of God continues to be expounded — and applied.

Stephen also serves as the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary, a young and exciting seminary which has already earned accreditation with TRACS and associate membership status with ATS. With an outstanding faculty and growing student body, Shepherds currently meets on the beautiful campus of Colonial. Stephen enjoys interacting with the students, as well as teaching Pastoral Theology and Creative Bible Teaching.

As the Bible teacher of Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen takes the message of the Gospel around the world. Spanish programming is currently broadcast on 90 radio stations and can be heard throughout Central and South America, reaching an estimated 70 million people. The people have responded hungrily to the teaching of God’s Word.

The Arabic translations are being aired on stations located throughout the Middle East, covering much of Iraq, Kurdistan, Jerusalem, Jordan, and Palestine, reaching an estimated 10 million listeners daily in their own language. In the Middle East, there are 300 million Muslims who need to hear the Gospel.

Swahili is now reaching a potential African audience of more than 50 million listeners. Like the Arab world, spiritual darkness encompasses daily life. Most of the 180 million who use Swahili daily are Muslim; life is governed by Islamic tradition and the teachings of the Koran.

Print and audio resources are available in book and transcript form, CDs, MP3s, and podcasts. Everything Stephen has preached throughout his ministry is now available at no charge in transcript and audio formats at We are praising God for the things He has done—and the things He is doing!

Stephen and Marsha have been married 31 years and have been blessed with twin sons Benjamin [wife Caroline], and Seth; daughters Candace and Charity.

Contact Wisdom for the Heart with Dr. Stephen Davey

Mailing Address
Wisdom for the Heart
PO Box 5729
Cary, NC 27512
Toll-free Phone