Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 … The Results of True Wisdom

Passage of the Day: James 3: 18 [highlight verse in bold/underlined] … 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

My Journal for Today:
If you’ve been here studying the pursuit of WISDOM with me this month – i.e., true Godly understanding for living - we’ve used this passage from one of God’s authors, James, on the subject (i.e., James 3: 13 - 18). And in it, James makes the solid connection between Godly wisdom and doing good (i.e., righteous living). Yesterday we saw the very challenging list of attributes (from James 3: 13, 17) that one would expect to find in the mature Christian who ardently pursues Godly wisdom for righteous living.

However, in today’s tag verse (James 3: 18) we read the author using an agricultural word picture to help us realize that it is the Godly wise person who becomes God’s “peacemaker,” sowing the seeds of peace into his own life and reaping the harvest of righteousness. The Greek term for “peace” in this verse is “eirene” [pronounced eye-ray’-nay], which, in the Christian context, would refer to one whose inner being or soul has an deep assurance of salvation and a confidence before God of living for Him. If such a one – a God-surrendered maker of peace – sows such peace into every part of his life, the harvest will be a life of righteous living, which James outlined in the list we reviewed yesterday (again see James 13, 17).

Therefore, John MacArthur, in his Strength for Today devotional on this date, states the equation, “Where true wisdom exists, true righteousness follows,” which then, in turn, becomes the seed for even more righteousness. Again MacArthur: “It’s a continual cycle: one righteous act becomes the seed to grow another righteous act.” It’s like perennial plants which sow their own seeds for renewal and growth in the next growing season – and on and on they grow, producing the peace in a believer’s soul, which, in turn, produces more righteous fruit for God’s glory.

So, I guess it really depends on how much a believer like myself really desires to know the mind of God; because that’s where the seeds are procured. As James 1: 5 – 6 indicates, when a true Christian really pursues Godly wisdom with the expectation that God will provide it, he will receive such wisdom in abundance from God’s grace. And it is those seeds of understanding which, when planted into the life of a Christian, produce Godly living and His fruitfulness (again, see Gal. 5: 22 – 23). That’s why I must continually be reminding myself that my drive to know God and His will is at the heart of just how much fruitfulness I can expect to be harvested in my life.

Therefore, I ask myself, and you who might be following this thread of devotionals, “How much peace do I now have about my pursuit of Godly wisdom; and how much fruit is being reproduced from my life, … the life of one who desires to be God’s peacemaker?” And with that mirror in front of me, I will let God’s word guide me onward to be a wise and fruitful Christian.

My Prayer Today: Lord, let me sow Your seeds and reap Your fruit. Amen

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