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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, April 14, 2015
When someone claims to have faith, what he or she may have is intellectual assent—agreement with a set of Christian teachings—and as such it would be incomplete faith. True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts. If our life remains unchanged, we don’t truly believe the truths we claim to believe.
We cannot earn our salvation by serving and obeying God. But such actions show that our commitment to God is real. Deeds of loving service are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of, our faith in Christ.
At first glance, this verse seems to contradict Romans 3:28, “We are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.” Deeper investigation, however, shows that the teachings of James and Paul are not at odds. While it is true that our good deeds can never earn salvation, true faith always results in a changed life and good deeds. Paul speaks against those who try to be saved by deeds instead of true faith; James speaks against those who confuse mere intellectual assent with truth faith. After all, even demons know who Jesus is, but they don’t obey him. True faith involves a commitment of your whole self to God. (NLT)
James 2:14-18 – Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone. Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.”
Wade Griffith (Alabama) titled his story “MORE THAN A SANDWICH;” here is a portion of that story:
“. . . three of us were walking down a street in Dublin when a disheveled-looking man and woman approached us asking for money to buy food. Despite the objections of one of our party, we gave them the equivalent of $5.00. As the couple walked away, the person who had objected told us that he suspected they would use the money for drugs or alcohol. . .
“Somewhat unwillingly, my other companion and I went along. We followed the couple across the River Liffey down a street where raucous laughter filled the air as people drifted in and out of the many pubs. Just as my friend began to say, ‘I told you so,’ the couple appeared coming out of a convenience store with two sandwiches. In silence, we all looked at one another and realized that the sandwiches weren’t the most important gifts given that day. The gift we had received was a reminder that we are not called to judge human hearts. We are simply called to emulate Jesus by responding with compassion to the human needs we encounter.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God calls us to show compassion, not judgment.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help us to be like you by responding to human needs with compassion rather than judgment. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
ATTITUDE, ATTITUDES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/attitude-attitudes/
EXAMPLE, EXAMPLES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/example-examples
EXCUSES, EXCUSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/excuses-excuse/
HYPOCRISY, HYPOCRITES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hypocrisy-hypocrites/
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