Faith and Works

The book of James challenges everyone who calls themselves a Christian.  It is culturally acceptable and popular to be a Christian in the United States. However, the book of James was written as the church in Jerusalem was in the process of being formed and at a time of much persecution of believers. Christians were having to decide if they really believed and if so, was their faith worth enduring the persecution?  If yes, then how were they going to live and conduct themselves? 

We have similar questions today. Perhaps we do not see persecution of Christians here in the USA (although there is some of that in different forms), but we still need to decide if we really believe in Christ, how will it impact our lives? Our relationships? Our behaviors. Our actions? How are our belief being translated into actions? Are we living what we truly believe in? 

INVITATION:  The way we choose to live our lives truly matters. How we live today will determine who you are in five years. Are you living the life of a Jesus follower? Do your actions match your words? 

MONDAY: James 1:19-27:  If you call yourself a Christ follower, it should be evident to others. How does your life reflect Jesus Christ?  These verses mention being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Are you willing to pray and ask Jesus if He has an invitation for you in regard to any of these things?  

TUESDAY:  James 2:1-4: Discrimination. We all want to think we do not discriminate. There are a lot of ways to show discrimination other than between rich and poor. Pray today for the Lord to show you ways you might favor some people over others?  If the Lord shows you something, are you willing to be obedient?  If not, pray for a teachable and moldable heart.  

WEDNESDAY:  James 2:14-17:  God’s gift of grace and mercy should be evident in a believer’s life. Faith alone is only lip service. Faith naturally produces good deeds that come from the heart.  Scripture sometimes calls it “fruit.” What about you? Have you had a heart change by trusting Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life and allowing him access to ALL of you?  True heart change leads to behavioral changes.  Are you seeing your faith result in good works? 

THURSDAY:  James 2:18:  There are three types of faith and two of them will leave you exhausted and frustrated in five year.  1) dead faith; 2) deceived faith; 3) alive faith.  Today we talk about the first type of faith:  dead faith. This is faith but no deeds. As you pray and meditate on this verse, could your faith be only a cognitive type faith, but a faith with no internal change or deeds?  

FRIDAY:  James 2:19-20:  The second type of faith is deceived faith. This is faith but no transformation.  Even demons believe in the deity of Christ. Faith that does not change your life does not change your soul.  Have your experienced life and soul transformation?  Look for progress, not perfection!  

SATURDAY:  James 2:22-23:  The last type of faith is faith that is alive.  This is faith and actions working together.  Do your faith and actions balance?  As you spend time in prayer about this balance, is God trying to show you something or invite you into something?