Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reaping Righteousness

James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

18 καρπὸς δὲ δικαιοσύνης ἐν εἰρήνῃ σπείρεται τοῖς ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην.

James 3 contains the famous passage on the tongue.  I think this is one of those passages that we read and feel like God was looking at our lives when this was written.  If someone ever says that he thinks the Bible has no practical advice for today you should send him to James 3.  It's also quite convicting as someone who is in school to learn how to preach and teach.  James admonishes us to take the calling quite seriously as it has high standards.  Lots of great stuff in here.

But what I want to focus on is this verse at the end of the passage.  James talks about having sincere hearts.  If we don't have sincere hearts we should not "boast and be false to the truth."  Then he contrasts the wisdom of the world with godly wisdom.  This verse comes right after his description of godly wisdom.

I'm not sure exactly what to think of when I read καρπὸς δὲ δικαιοσύνης.  Does that refer to salvation?  Does it refer to good works?  Does it refer to harmony with others?  I'm not sure.  But what I do know, is that this verse makes it clear that it is beneficial for us to ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην.  The word ποιοῦσιν is a present active participle, which implies that it is an ongoing action.  We are to be people who make peace.

Obviously as we know from Ecclesiastes, there is a time for war and a time for peace.  There are times when we need to be contentious against heresy, for example.  However, as a rule we are to be peacemakers.  Jesus said this in the Sermon on the Mount as well.  It is a blessing to be a peacemaker.

Where are you with this?  Are you making peace or strife?  When people see you coming do they steel themselves up ready for a fight?  Or are they looking forward to a time of peace?  Does your presence settle arguments or add fuel to the fire?  I want to be a peacemaker, amen?

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