September 14, 2018
James 2:17-26 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
According to the Bible, every child of faith is called to share “good deeds.” It is a natural outflow of spiritual salvation in the grace of God. Apart from the grace of God we are spiritually empty. God generously (even ecstatically) gives of himself pouring love into us and awaits our response. What will we do with what we have been given?
Good deeds are actions of obedience that come from having Christ as the Lord of our lives. Christ brings a lifestyle change; he shifts our perspective from our own inclination of selfishness and turns it toward his generous heart. The Holy Spirit helps us live each day with the desire to glorify God by releasing good everywhere we go, because in essence it is releasing God. True faith—a living faith—involves a commitment of one’s whole self to the work of God which must include good deeds.
In our passage today, James is reminding the early church that faith is more than a mental or emotional assent to God. As well, it is more than just giving a bunch of supplies to the needy. Faith is revealed in how we live each day in response to a loving God and being willing to share the love of Christ with others in tangible ways. This is the path of lasting joy. Live in his joy, today!
17 Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!
18 Suppose someone disagrees and says, “It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds.”
I would answer, “Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them.” 19 You surely believe there is only one God. That’s fine. Even demons believe this, and it makes them shake with fear.
20 Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Well, our ancestor Abraham pleased God by putting his son Isaac on the altar to sacrifice him. 22 Now you see how Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. 23 This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend.
24 You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe. 25 For example, Rahab had been a prostitute. But she pleased God when she welcomed the spies and sent them home by another way.
26 Anyone who doesn’t breathe is dead, and faith that doesn’t do anything is just as dead!
Prayer: Lord, I love you so very much and enjoy our fellowship. Keep prompting me to be a giver like you. Fill me with joy each time I please your heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.