October 05, 2016

A Harvest of Righteousness

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

He . . . will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

—  2 Corinthians 9:10

What is God doing here?

This is a question many parents ask as they struggle to meet financial demands and also find time to train their children. It’s the question every one of us should be asking in the daily tasks of life.

Paul identifies the outcome of God’s growing season for us as “the harvest of [our] righteousness.” “Righteousness” does not mean following rules to try to be good; it indicates that because we are credited with Jesus’ righteousness, we grow to reflect God’s character in all we do. Then we discover spiritual growth in ourselves as we practice a disciplined life.

Paul wrote to encourage the church to give generously to support the poor. Though it’s tempting to hold on to what we have, generosity opens our eyes to the rich blessings of God. Planting requires faith, Paul says. And without faith, there is no planting—and no harvest.

But generosity is only one outcome of the larger task of growth God has for us. Like the harvest of the field, the harvest of righteousness comes only from God. Through the death of Christ, God enables us to be more like Jesus, giving us his righteousness. When we are clothed with Christ (Romans 13:14), what others see is not our goodness but God’s perfect righteousness.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” What a beautiful gift that is!

Lord, increase our faith to live faithfully each day. May others give thanks when they see your righteousness in us. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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