James has contrasted for us two kinds of wisdom that are available: worldly wisdom and heavenly wisdom. We have seen that the best brand of wisdom is the kind that is made in Heaven…
And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:18)
Verse 18 is like a bridge that connects Chapter 3 with Chapter 4. James begins Chapter 4 by discussing conflict between Christians, so he ends Chapter 3 by saying that a wise person will be a peacemaker.
If we live by the world’s wisdom, it will lead to jealousy and selfish ambition, which will in turn lead to conflict. If we live by Heavenly wisdom, it will lead to more peaceful living, which will in turn lead to righteousness.
This world is an evil place, and things often happen that are not fair. However, generally speaking, if we live wisely to be a blessing to others, good things will happen for us, too.
To be righteous means to be right – not just in our opinions, but in our standing before God. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are immediately given a righteous position before God, even though our practice still leaves much to be desired. By God’s grace through our faith in Jesus, we are forgiven for all our sin, and declared to be righteous – as if we never sinned! For the rest of our life in this world, the Holy Spirit’s job is to make us more like Jesus, so that over time our practice can come closer to resembling our position.
Notice in our verse that peacemakers are the key to enjoying a harvest of righteousness. A peacemaker is not a people-pleaser. It is not someone who avoids conflict at all cost. A peacemaker is willing to go where conflict already exists, and promote peace in the situation. That takes wisdom from Heaven, and if more people would follow it, then more things would go right in the world.
Today’s Good News is that wisdom from above is available to all who love Jesus, and are filled with His Holy Spirit.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you have missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.