We ended last week with James 2: 5-12 and are starting this week with James 2:14-26
Grabbing a few moments of sweetness in His word this morning.
A few moments because it has already been a crazy day- and it’s only 7:30 in the morning.
Because my night job ran crazy long and seemed to fall apart at the seams; which put me home late this morning. Then, one of the seven children who live life fully within these walls- had an accident in their bed. Of course, this was the one who needed to be up and out the door the earliest. Then, of course, there is a pile of paperwork that needs looked at, a trip to the bank, breakfast to make- oh wait, lunch and dinner. But then again- I need to leave the house in 20 minutes with a car full of kiddos; equipped with their homeschool books for a morning of shopping for the café (you know- that place where we shack up with people?)
On top of it all: that enemy and his whispers… those evil whispers of, “You’re not good enough. You’re always… a failure, disorganized, good for nothing… you name it, he says it.”
So, THIS time in James? Let’s make time for it together and nurture our souls.
Because a million other people have a harder story than mine this Monday morning and.it’s.all.going.to.be.okay.
(Thanks to the sanitizing setting on the laundry machine- thank you, sweet Jesus)
Pssstttt, this is one of my very favorite parts of James.
Monday: read James 2:14-26
Tuesday: read James 2:14-26 AGAIN and then go back and read James 2:14- 15 (thru end of 15)
Question: Do we consider ourselves someone who has faith? The passage is not referring to a faith like, “Oh yes I believe in Jesus.” You see, I cannot just say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus, I have faith in him” and never do a good deed. He is saying that a GENUINE Faith will produce good deeds because we cannot have a true faith without good deeds.
It is like this: If you are an apple tree, what kind of fruit are you going to produce? Apples! always! There will never be an orange on your tree. IF we are someone who is captured by faith in Christ as a savior than we will automatically be someone who produces good deeds. It is like the apple tree; it cannot help but produce Apples. Like a young tree, someone young in their faith will not produce as much as a mature tree, although they are producing. We cannot help but produce good deeds, it’s an overflow of the God story.
Are you saved by deeds? No, not by deeds alone. We are saved by grace and grace alone. Grace, my – oh – my that wonderful thing called grace.
What a great deed that was– the journey to the cross.
Tomorrow, let’s examine ourselves. Are we REALLY a person of faith? Let’s keep tabs on all of our good deeds and keep track of all our bad deeds. Which one wins out? How often do we think of others first? Friends, this is not a time for us to say, “Oh man, this is too hard; I can’t ever be good enough.” NO!
It’s not all about being good enough, it’s about being good–good to others.
All God asks of us is: try. And when we mess up or fail, just try again. Let’s try to be a person who thinks of others first. Trying to be a person who is more worried about other people than ourselves. It is something we can acquire, I promise! Galatians says that we will know a Christian by their fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.) If we are striving to live a life that Loves God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength our life will produce good deeds, which IS a true faith, the kind of faith that we are saved by. Oh my goodness- doing things for others is sooo addicting! Trust me, it’s like a good time, Jesus drug. =)
Wednesday: Read James 2: 15-17 (thru to the end of 17)
It seems like a lot of times we just see a ‘sad situation’ and walk away without doing something. We may even go home and say to our family… “I talked with this person l today that is having a real hard time, they just kept telling me about all this bad stuff that keeps happening to them.” and you continue by saying… “I felt so sorry for them.”
What if, instead of just making that the ‘story of our day’ we made it the story of their day. What if we made a change in that person’s life–all by a simple deed.
What if we went home, cleaned out our closet and took that person a lot of new clothes from our own closet? Groceries from our own pantry, A gift tucked away in a secret place for them to find, never telling them what you did?
Have you ever done something like that? Let’s take a second to write down what we think of this passage. Have we ever been in this situation? How does the passage challenge us?
Thursday: Read James 2:14-24
Notice that he asks in vs 14 ‘can such faith (a faith without good deeds) save you…’ What do you think? vs 20 says You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Then he tells the story of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son because God had told him to. God sent a sacrifice and Abraham did not have to do that but because of his faithfulness to honor God, his faithfulness to love God more than he even loved his son, he was called God’s friend. Then he continues by saying… you see? A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
Thought for tomorrow: Does God call us his friend?
Friday: Read James 2: 20-26
vs 26 says As a body without the spirit is dead so faith without deeds is dead.
This weekend, let’s try to focus on being ALIVE in Christ! So excited about what he did for us, is doing for us we cannot help but make this life WONDERFUL by an overflowing of sharing love with others. Let’s have fun, laugh, focus on the blessings of beauty all around us. Let’s be thankful for friends to talk to, legs to walk on, clothes to wear, little cheeks to kiss, phones to talk to friends with… everything! When we learn to focus on the wonderful things it makes it a lot easier to love people through good deeds/actions/ words, etc.
It becomes our heartbeat.
Are you hurting right now? Hurting too much for this? I pray someone is living this scripture with you, loving you along life’s hard roads– like that sweet Jesus type of love.
Loves to you, friend.
A book I recommend on finding joy and living life fully? Oh yes. This. A Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are.
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