150. Harvest of righteousness.
All of us who have believed the Gospel have been credited with the same measure of Christ's righteousness to open our accounts of righteousness, but the measure of the harvest of righteousness we will reap, varies depending on the measure we have sown. Or else everyone would be getting the same rewards ! But the Bible tells us it is otherwise. 'Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.' (James 3:18) How large will our 'harvest of righteousness' be, depends on how much we have sown in peace. 'Remember this: Whoever does sparingly will reap sparingly and whoever does generously will also reap generously ... he who supplies seed to the sower ... will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge your harvest of righteousness.' (2 Corinthians 9:6-10) Though Paul stated this principle of sowing and reaping, in the context of giving, it applies to all other virtues as well. Therefore, we ought to sow peace generously to get a bumper harvest of righteousness! The Gospel is about making peace with God and Man. There is a vertical and horizontal aspect to it. If we have reconciled with God, we will reconcile with all men, even with your enemies. The only person you don't reconcile with is the devil! In other words, a Christian should not have any enemies except the devil ! Every one else are within the ambit (the scope, extent, or bounds) of peace. That is why 'our feet is fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace.' (Ephesians 6:15) This readiness to reconcile with everyone comes only when we understand that the message of the Gospel is about reconciliation. The Gospel has the power to unite broken families and divided Churches. It might not be easy and that is the reason why we are given the 'boots of peace', to reach out to others, even through difficult terrain and infested grounds. Nothing should stop us from making peace with others. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God." ( Matthew 5:9) Not only do we make peace with others but as 'ministers of reconciliation', we also should help others make peace with God and Man! This is our identity as a Christian. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35) Not only should the fruit be qualitative but quantitative as well! "This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (John 15:8) Therefore, as disciples of Christ, we are being pruned to produce a harvest of righteousness, though it might be painful and unpleasant. 'No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.' (Hebrews 12:11) Since we reap what we sow, let's begin to sow in peace to reap a harvest of righteousness. Amen.