Tuesday, November 13, 2007

heavenly wisdom

Crater Lake, Oregon

"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." James 3:13
Works were God's first revelation of Himself to humanity. Before Adam was molded from the clay of the earth, God created the clay, the earth, the universe and beyond what we have yet to discover. Into this perfect ecosystem, sustained by the will of God, humanity was born. I am one who is continually awestruck by the perfection of nature. When I vacation, I crave the works God -mountains, forests- and my souvenirs tend to be rocks. I am fascinated by the symbiotic
relationships strengthening what on its own, may not survive. Form follows function, function points to purpose, purpose supports an other's need. There are spiritual lessons in tree bark for heaven's sake - God's works are completely fascinating, logical, and utterly perfect. His works reveal His heart, His pure wisdom.
As Christ-followers, our assurance comes from the fruit of our faith - our works. It is through our works that others see Christ. But only our pure works, those done in the humility that comes from wisdom. This heavenly wisdom is described in James 3:17 as: pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Ouch. I am not sure I can point to much work I've accomplished yet birthed from that wisdom. Other's have argued this, but they've not seen the tainted motives of my heart - perhaps a desire to win someones approval, a desire to feel significant... the list is entirely too discouraging to continue. But the list of my tainted motives is not the point - the very fact that I am grieved by the list is fruit... indeed the pure fruit that reveals wisdom from heaven. Part of God's perfect creation is a system that is entirely dependent upon its Savior. The fact that am learning how to rely on my Lord is pleasing to God. The fact that in my own strength I fail - is the way He set the whole thing up. I cannot be pleasing to God in my own strength, or while working my own agenda.
But - - the desire to go beyond working in one's own strength lies in what is to be gained by such pursuit. Onlookers are to be moved to give glory to God for the works they see us perform - as the works of Jesus testified to the authenticity of His ministry. As God's works point to His heart, our works should reflect the heart of God when motivated by heavenly wisdom. Pure...peace-loving....considerate....submissive....full of mercy and good fruit..... impartial... sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness (Jas 3:18). A harvest of righteousness will shine like a beacon to help the lost find their way to the only source of peace under the sun... the Son.

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