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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, March 13, 2017
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
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. (NLT)
James 2:14-26 – 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?
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the Altar? You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did—by his actions. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.” He was even called “the friend of God.” So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Rahab the prostitute is another example of this. She was made right with God by her actions—when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead without good deeds.
Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do. –James 1:25 (NIV)
Andy Baker (Tennessee) titled his story “TO THE STREET;” here is a portion of Andy’s story:
“Worshiping with fellow Christians is special. Being fed from the word of God, being taught and encouraged by singing and praying together, giving to meet the needs of others, and remembering the sacrifice of our Savior all make the time we spend together a blessing.
“But I think that too often the motivation to live more faithfully grows cold once the church serves are over. We don’t always take what we learn in church and live it out in our daily lives. . . . Taking to the street what we have learned means treating our families and neighbors the way Christ would. It means being the very best employees we can be. It means maturing as parents, as students, and even as citizens. As the verse from James quoted above tells us, it means for us to go beyond listening to acting.
“Meeting together as Christians gives us the tools and understanding of God’s love that help us live faithfully. Wherever we go as we leave the service, we can resolve to share with others the unity and peace that Christ’s love inspires in us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Along with worship and fellowship, God desires our discipleship and service.
Prayer: Dear God, help us not to take the blessings of life in Christ for granted but instead to share them with those around us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/