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11-19-10 HighQuest James 2:17-25

November 21, 2010

The passage I read was James 2:17-25
You can find that passage here:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:17-25&version=NIV

My summary of the passage is this:
Faith without actions is worthless. The simple belief in something or someone has no affect without an action based on that belief. Abraham is given as the example of actions because of faith in that he was willing to sacrifice his son. (This was credited to him as righteousness). Because of this example, James is able to say that a person is proven righteous by their deeds and not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute giving lodging to the spies is also given as an example of a faith based action.

As I reflect:
Yay!! I have a Bible study in the book of James. How exciting! I love every word in this short book. So powerful. So applicable. So wise and straight forward. We had a Bible study at our house on the book of James and though I thought it’d be short, it ended up being several months. So much good info compacted into these few short chapters. This particular passage started off with another favorite verse of mine: (verse 17) “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” I’d like to quote it with the previous 2 verses though for context,

15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

I see this very thing sooo often in my life. It’s something that haunted me when I was a homeless drug addict. Almost every Christ professing Christian I came across wanted to give me a Bible tract and say, “God bless you”, but only one that I met really wanted to do something about it and she was willing to put herself and her family in danger to prove that Christ loved me. Now, I wasn’t in the right mindset at the time and my heart wasn’t ready for the message, but it did stick in the back of my head. It worked in me for a number of years. When My wife and I lived in an apartment, it is that very same influence that started us taking in homeless and drug addicted people from the streets and witnessing by lifestyle how they could be saved from their addictions and entire lifestyles if they would but have faith and let Christ do a work in their lives. It was this doing that stepped up the game and really began allowing for growth in our own relationships with Christ. It got us up out of our comfort zones and got us studying harder so we could answer more questions. It got into more fellowship because more support was needed. It got us into starting our first weekly and even nightly Bible studies at our home. All these things were by-products of faith because we allowed faith to guide our works. Our works didn’t save us, but the fact that we had been saved meant that we couldn’t just remain the same. We had to grow. Our works had to change because we were becoming new creations.

Now, I know many people that claim to be Christians but don’t display any fruits of the spirit in their lives. They show no growth. They live the very same way they lived before they came to faith. Last I heard the percentage was 80% of Americans that think that they are Christian because they believe in God….Or because they attend church occasionally. Yea….Cuz going to church makes you a Christian about as much as walking into a garage turns you into a car.. James 2:19 says, “You Believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. “ I have used this verse in witnessing and (though it may be a bit coming on strong for some people) it has hopefully caused others to stop and ponder the Salvation that brings change in one’s life. The kind of Salvation that results in evidence of your faith beyond just words. Faith shown by deeds. Verse 18 says, 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

If you are claiming to be a Christian, then may I encourage you to evaluate what that means in your life. Evaluate if that belief is based on anything more than the belief in the existence of a God or if it is based on more than just that some preacher that told you you were saved after a prayer of salvation. If you are claiming to be Christian, then you are saying that you are saved by grace and following after the example that Christ gave you. It says that you are no longer of the world. You are different, a new creation. You are now a light to shine into a dark world the love of Christ. You by faith live for the Lord. You live to do His will. Let your deeds reflect your faith fellow Christian. Get into the Word. Get into fellowship. Grow. Love others. Share the gospel. Help others. Whatever you do, DON’T STAY THE SAME! 😉

My response to the Lord:
Wow Jesus, you really made a man that can ramble on when you made me. Lol. I look up at my reflection time and realize that was a mighty small portion of the things I reflected on. I hope my little personality quirks like that are as entertaining to you as they are to my wife. I hope you laugh with me when I make fun of some of those quirks Jesus. I hope you lol too when the sound of the keyboard stops and I look up and laugh at what was meant to be my “short” notes. Lol Lord, thank you with all that I am, for making me into all that I am. Thank you for not letting me stay in that sinful state you saved me from. Thank you for causing growth in me and for allowing me to experience the trials and tribulations to gain strength. Thank you for each patience building person you brought into my life; for each newer better characteristic that you worked into me through circumstance and study; for each person that helped me learn to love; and least I forget, Lord, thank you for the work you have yet to do in me. I have faith and will act on the faith that you will fulfill your promise to complete the work begun in me. May I not forget that my life is to reflect to the world that watches what you have done in and through me. May I not set this light beneath a bowl, but rather set it on a hill and let my deeds show as evidence of the God I serve.

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