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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, July 24, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
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.
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 true faith. After alll, 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 2:14-20 – 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.”
Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?
Paul Alton Basilico (Georgia) titled his story “GO BACK;” here is a portion of Paul’s story:
“One rainy day when I was driving home from having visited my sister, I passed a man walking with a backpack. As I drove further down the road, I heard an inner voice say, ‘Go back and give him a ride.’ I felt like God was talking to me. So I turned around and gave the man a ride.
“In our conversation, I found out that the man was walking from Washington, DC to Jacksonville, Florida to meet his brother. After some thought, I decided to go to the bus station and buy him a ticket to Jacksonville. As I gave him the ticket, I said, ‘May God bless you.’ Driving home I realized that God had blessed me by giving me the opportunity to help someone in need.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When God speaks, I will listen — and prepare to be surprised!
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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