These are my notes from a sermon series I did through the book of James. It has not been proofed for spelling or grammatical errors. I present it to you as-is.

Have you ever wondered why some people keep making wrong decisions? You see their wrong or unwise decisions regarding who they date, who they marry, how the raise or train their children, how they handle conflict, how they handle pressure, and how they react to difficult situations and people and what they do to themselves.

In this series on wisdom, God (through James) has been trying to help us live wisely, make wise decisions, and respond to others and situations in a wise way so that we can produce a harvest of right actions, right behaviors, and right attitudes from our lives.

With that said let’s take a look at James 3:13 where we are told, If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness (NLT). In verse 17 we are given eight marks of wisdom. God’s kind of wisdom. We have looked at them in detail over the past couple of months. Today I want us to see the result of God’s wisdom lived out in your life.

To get us started I want you to see Isaiah 32:17 which catches the same idea that James is saying. Isaiah says, “This righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever” (NLT). When you are experiencing God’s wisdom in your life, when you are living out His wisdom on a day to day basis you will experience peace, quietness and confidence in your life. It does not matter how much chaos and conflict may be happening in your world and around you, because God’s wisdom produces a practical righteousness that brings peace even in the midst of storms. When things are going right inside of you, you can still have peace even though things are going wrong around you. God’s wisdom produces a righteousness that produces peace.

Let’s unpack this thought. James says in verse 18, And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness (NLT). Let’s think about this statement in bite size pieces.

And those who are peacemakers

First, James says, “and those who are peacemakers….” God’s Word says a lot about peace, but let’s focus on this idea of being a peacemaker. Three things you need to know about being a peacemaker.

  • Number one, “peacemakers” work for peace. You see this in the word itself, peacemakers. Peace is not something that exist naturally in the world. This is why one nation fights against another nation. This is why one political party fights against another. This is why couples are divided. This is why children argue and fight over toys. Because of the sinful nature of people, people gravitate toward the opposite of peace. Because of the sinful nature it is natural for conflict to occur.

Peacemakers know that peace doesn’t just happen in a relationship, you have to make it happen. You have to work for it.

  • Number two, “peacemakers” preserve peace. To preserve something means to protect it, keep it from slipping away, to defend it, save it, and continue with it. Keep it active, keep it safe, and keep it close. Now pay close attention to Ephesians 4:1 which says, “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort [peace-making takes work] to keep yourselves [preserve, protect, defend, continue] united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (NLT). Once you have peace, the world and the devil are going to do whatever they can to damage, wreck, and ruin whatever peace you made with others. You are going to have to make every effort to preserve the peace and you do that by living out God’s wisdom in your life.
  • Number three, “peacemakers” pursue peace. The idea behind pursuing something is to chase it down, hunt for it, and track it in order to overtake it. You are in hot pursuit of peace and the way you pursue it is through God’s wisdom. God is serious about us pursuing peace. Take a look at this. Psalm 34:14, “Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it” (CSB). Romans 14:19, “So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another” (CSB). Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with everyone…” (CSB). Romans 12:18, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (CSB).

When you let God’s wisdom flow through your life you are working for peace in your relationships, you are preserving peace even though the world and the devil are trying to destroy it, and you have to pursue this peace with a spiritual tenacity in order to over take it. When you are living for God you are a peacemaker.

Will plant seeds of peace

Let’s go back to verse 18 again. James says, “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace…” (NLT). The phrase “will plant seeds of peace” implies a timing element. James is using farming language and every farmer knows there are certain times you plant certain things. A peacemaker recognizes opportunities for making, preserving, and pursuing peace.

Look closely at Colossians 4:5, “Live wisely [that’s what we have been talking about for the past couple of months. Remember, living wisely involves being gentle, willing to yield to others, full of mercy, treating others with equal value and being honest] among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity [That’s planting time. That’s when you plant seeds of peace. You will have opportunities to be gentle, when you could have been rude… you will have opportunities show humility and yield to others, when you could have been stubborn and hard headed. You are planting seeds of peace]. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (NLT). You are going to have opportunities to plant either seeds of peace or seeds of conflict, seeds of peace or seeds of selfishness. Peacemakers seize opportunities to sow peace.

And reap a harvest of righteousness

Let’s go back to verse 18 again, “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” What does it mean to “reap a harvest of righteousness”? This refers to two things:

  • First, it refers to “a harvest of righteousness” in your life. As you live out God’s wisdom in your life you produce a lot of right things that are pleasing God. There is a harvest of righteousness that has grown out of your life. Because you love peace and are not a trouble maker, because you are gentle with others, willing to yield to others and you don’t have to have your own way all the time, because you show mercy toward others and treat everyone with value and you are sincere and have no hidden agenda with others… because of these expressions of God’s wisdom in your life, your life produces a harvest of right decision, a harvest of right behaviors, a harvest of right reactions, a harvest of righteousness.
  • Secondly, it refers to “a harvest of righteousness” beyond your life. The language of a harvest suggests such an attractive way of life that others are drawn to God through it. Think about it, who is not drawn to others who is peace loving, merciful, gentle, treats others with equal value, and is lovingly honest. That’s the kind of person God uses to lead others to Himself. So this “harvest of righteousness” also refers to the harvest of people God reaches through you and their life changes and produces more righteousness in their life thereby reaching others and they are changed and they reach others and this “harvest of righteousness” multiplies all because you chose to live by God’s wisdom rather than man’s wisdom.


Let’s wrap all this up by looking at Colossians 1:9 which says, “So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better” (NLT).

  • You first step in living in the wisdom of God is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, when you receive Him your receive access to God’s wisdom.
  • As you live out God’s wisdom in your life you will honor and please the Lord, you will produce all kinds of good stuff in your life and through it all you will learn to know God better and better.

Marks of Heavenly Wisdom


If I’m wise I will not compromise my integrity

“first of all pure”

Peace loving

If I’m wise I will not

antagonize your anger

“it is also peace loving”


If I’m wise I will not

minimize your feelings

“gentle at all times”


If I’m wise I will not

criticize your suggestions

“willing to yield to others”


If I’m wise I will not

emphasize your mistakes

“full of mercy”


If I’m wise I will not

waste my life

“full of… the fruit of good deeds”


If I’m wise I will not

treat you unequally

“It shows no favoritism”


If I’m wise I will not

pretend to be someone I’m not

“and is always sincere”

Based on James 3:17