Productive Wisdom

James 3:17-18 

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. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

It’s cold again!

Spring is here! It should be warmer; but, it’s cold again! Wow! The excitement of gardening can be suppressed for a reason. Spring flowers are blooming somewhere but not yet in this part of the continent. Anyway, perennial gardeners may have been busy pruning their fruit trees while leaves and flowers start to appear. Last week, I pruned fruit trees we planted last year partially because I want to watch their flowers bloom.

If you’ve planted fruit trees, you can personally understand when gardeners feel excited, when their plants bear much fruit. Likewise, if God find us fruitful, he likes it!

Jesus Christ declared in John 15:5-8, 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

The Lord appreciates fruitfulness; and the quality of fruits may affirm good soil and also care and diligence of the gardener. God is the Gardener, Christ is the Vine, and we are the branches of the Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ. How can we bear fruits that God appreciate? First and foremost, we need godly productive wisdom from heaven.

1.  Heaven

17a But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;

The term “pure” is properly interpreted as holy, sacred, free from defilement, ceremonially and ethically clean, a condition prepared for worship of God. Purity is a prominent feature of wisdom from heaven because it comes from the perfect God. Moreover, godly wisdom produces unity and orderliness. Have you received godly wisdom? Did you know that Christ is the wisdom of God?

It says in 1 Corinthians 1:24: 24To those whom God has called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

When we believed and accepted Christ into our life as our Savior, he saved us from anything that separates us from God. Christ declared that he came for us to have fullness of life. We should allow him to perform his lordship and authority in our life; and then godly wisdom enables us to follow the path of godly righteousness which leads to life in its fullness that Christ has promised to all who follow him diligently.

In a chaotic world, godly wisdom would prompt us to be more diligent in praying.

It says in Jeremiah 29:7: 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

We normally pray for personal interest, right? Praying for our city, government, law enforcers, legislators or judiciary would certainly favorable to us. Where there’s peace, prosperity follows. Peace and prosperity are inseparable twins; they go together.

Imagine the scenario when nations go to war against other nations. No matter how prosperous one nation could be, but when there is no peace and order, you would not like to live in that chaotic country, would you? If you are financially able, you would choose a peaceful neighborhood for your residence for sure, right?

King Solomon’s time

Have you ever considered how wonderful could have been to live in Israel in the time of King Solomon? His name “Solomon” is a variant of Hebrew term “shalom” which means “peace.” The Lord assured King David that in the time of his successor Solomon his son, Israel will be peaceful. It says in 1 Chronicles 22:9, 9But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.

Indeed, there was nationwide peace and prosperity in the time of King Solomon; and it all started when he asked God for wisdom to perform his kingship responsibly.

It summarized in 1 Kings 4:20-25, 20The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. 21And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life. 22Solomon’s daily provisions were thirty cors of the finest flour and sixty cors of meal, 23ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. 24For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 25During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.

Thirty cors of finest flour is approximately 5.5 metric tons and sixty cors of meal is approximately 11 metric tons that were daily provision for his household. Well, he had 1000 wives; he sure had many children and servants and guards in his palaces. And, Solomon sustained the needs of everyone in his family including servants and guards. Certainly, God, who made Solomon wise and rich, can easily sustain our needs! Amen?

Can you imagine how happy the Israelites were in the time of King Solomon because there was peace and no war, no confusion, no rallies; everyone was satisfied.

Likewise, it is far glorious to worship God in a church where one can sense peace. Peace is a very overwhelming experience that exceeds and surpasses comprehension.

It declares in Philippians 4:77And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Godly peace is the fruit of his Holy Spirit in us; this is why we must make sure that we follow the teachings Christ so that we may sense peace in us. Purity is supreme attribute of godly wisdom; peacefulness, gentleness, compliance, mercy, goodness, fairness and honesty reveal active presence of Christ the wisdom of God in us.

2.  Honesty

17bthen peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

It is not instinctive to follow godly instructions; but when pure godly wisdom is functional in our life, we can be peaceful, considerate, compliant and merciful. We can bear good fruit of undivided sincerity and honesty, and can be harmonious as well.

Harmony among Christians does not necessarily mean that we always agree in everything. Of course, we can be honest and agree to disagree, right? But, disagreement should not cause us to hate each other. Everyone has preference of taste, color or music genre. Young people may prefer faster music while older citizens prefer slower tempo.

You may prefer to wear white, blue, red or orange, and I prefer to wear pink or green. If everyone wears the same shade or tone, it attracts attention. If all of us wear black or white, observers may think that we are a cult or we always have funeral service.

Not everyone has the same taste buds. I prefer and prepare food with less salt; and, if my family wants it, they can add salt to their taste. Similarly, we agree to disagree and still have harmonious relationship; God will bless us for sure. Pure godly wisdom would enable us to prefer peaceful harmony and reject conflict.

Amendment Adhoc Committee

The latest issue that had been instrumental for unsatisfied individuals to create confusion in the church is the Amendment of our church constitution and by-laws. Our church leaders are preparing for the amendment of our constitution and by-laws.

Please pray about it. You might be selected to join the Adhoc Committee.

When the pandemic had erupted, our church leaders have observed several issues that cause necessary adjustment to our church activities. Amendment of church constitution and by-laws may address some of those issues for us to have constitutional bases in our church activities. Additionally, it may limit any confusion in the future.

This is a challenge for us to test if godly wisdom in functional in our life. Can we be peaceful, considerate, compliant, and merciful? Can we have good, impartial, sincere and honest attitude toward each other? We pray for God’s help for us to be fruitful.

Remember what our Lord Jesus Christ declared in John 15:16, 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

The Holy Spirit of the Lord had regenerated and motivated us to believe and trust in him. Christ chose us to believe in him, and he expects fruitfulness from us. Why?

He saved us to be fruitful because unfruitfulness is a horrible situation in eternity.

The Lord Jesus Christ told a parable in Luke 13:6-9, 6A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?” 8“Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.”

Judgment time is coming near. You may believe or ignore it but we cannot avoid it. Judgment Day is not dependent upon opinions; it has been decreed from eternity. And the Lord is always observant; he often inspects our lifestyle. He has already prepared rewards for fruitful lifestyle. Make sure that you will gather a harvest of righteousness.

3.  Harvest

18Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Peaceful unity among believers is imperative but evasive. We want to have peace but confusion spoils the fun. It has been a struggle to maintain peace in our generation; likewise, confusion may have been a reality even among the first century Christians.

In the past, there were false teachers who caused confusion in the church. It will happen again for certain. Make sure that godly wisdom is functional in your life so that you would rather follow a righteous path instead of playing blame games. It says in 1 Peter 2:1-3, 1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

We need to regularly drink our spiritual milk so that we grow spiritually mature.

Instinctively, non-believers are gratified with things we are instructed to reject.

We are instructed to get rid of ourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind, and like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk.

The very basic food of infants is milk. New believers in Christ are spiritually infants. Like babies, newly born-again Christians crave for spiritual milk. Well, what actually is spiritual milk for spiritual infants? Spiritual milks for born-again Christian infants are the very basic doctrines and fundamental or elementary principles of godly righteousness that the Lord had instructed in the Scripture.

As children of God, we crave for spiritual food, desire and want to know and practice righteous lifestyle of God’s children. Thirst and hunger of spiritual foods signal spiritual life. If there’s no craving for righteous lifestyle, there’s spiritual health problem.

Why do infants cry so loud for milk almost every two hours or more often?

They are hungry and thirsty. If they don’t cry, how can we know that infants are hungry?

Hunger and thirst can affect everyone physically, mentally, psychologically, relationally and spiritually. A very hungry or thirsty person stops anything he is doing to eat or drink, right? Spiritual hunger and thirst craves for spiritual satisfaction.

What the Lord Jesus Christ declared will happen. He declared in Matthew 5:6:

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

When we practice godly righteousness, we sense blessedness; we grow spiritually to earn eternal treasures. Infants don’t earn. Who will employ infants? Actually, most employers may prefer applicants who are experienced or reliable in their chosen field.

Likewise, as we regularly drink spiritual milk, we practice godly righteousness as lifestyle, and we grow spiritually mature and strong to earn our eternal treasure.

It had been decreed in Revelation 19:8, 8Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

20% Discount          

A believer and his wife passed by a popular apparel store. The wife glanced and said, “Look! It’s 20% discount!” The insensible husband responded, “Which one has 20% discount, the price or the apparel?” Then suddenly, spiritual questions flashed in his mind about the fine linen that God’s holy people may wear in heaven.

If you’ve done much righteous acts, will it affect the size of fine linen you wear in heaven? How about if you did less? Will you be given mini skirt linen to wear in heaven?

King David challenges us to aspire and crave for blessedness in Psalm 34:8-16: 8Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.

Do you have reverent fear of the Lord? Desire to learn from the Scripture; practice righteous lifestyle. Those are some basic spiritual principles for godly citizens of heaven.

Are you born-again spiritually – spiritual infant or spiritually mature? Do you crave for spiritual nourishment? Do you regularly meditate on God’s word? You are blessed!

Pray sincerely for stronger faith, godly wisdom and understanding; learn and skillfully practice godly lifestyle of righteousness; and, you’ll earn eternal treasures.

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