DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: James 2:14-17
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
OBSERVATION: Many of you will know the theme of these verses as ‘Faith without works are dead’. However, I felt like the Message cut to the chase and translated these verses in a way that would truly help us to get the message that God was sending through James. Join me as we study these verses and may we look deep inside and analyze what God is doing inside of us.
APPLICATION: Holy Spirit, please open the eyes of our heart so that we might see You at work within us, and that our faith in You might declare Your handiwork and Your goodness to us. So friends, as we consider the matter of faith, and whether it impacts our lives and our actions, let us first bring this subject right down to where we are today. Most of us would have reached for the light switch as we rose from our beds this morning, and we had faith to believe that through our action of turning on the light switch, the room would be filled with light. We pulled out a chair to the breakfast table, and we had faith that the chair would hold our weight. We asked God to bless our food, and we had faith that He would nourish our bodies for His service today. But some of our more challenging faith tests today may be something like: (1) A call from the hospital – a relative or good friend may be very sick and they wanted their relative to make us aware of their condition and location. Why? Do you suppose it may be because they know that we know the Great Healer and we would therefore pray for their well-being? But what did you do? Tell the caller to let the sick person know that you are thinking about them and wishing them well? Wouldn’t it have been a strong message to the caller if you stopped what you were doing and, in faith, prayed with the caller while still on the phone? (2) A derelict sitting on the curb downtown – He calls out to you for help in getting a meal, but how do you respond? Most of us will shrug the poor man off and say that we have no cash. What if that was Jesus inside those dirty clothes and unshaven face, would your response have been any different? What if you looked down from heaven and saw that man had no one tell him about the love of the Savior, so he never accepted Him as Lord. What a disappointment to God when He looks into your face and ask why? Friends, these are examples that really hurt, but we do them almost every day. With part of the Trinity living inside of you, what could possibly be too difficult for you and the Holy Spirit to handle? Is there any good reason why you would say that you are a person of faith, yet when presented with the opportunity to use that faith, you are timid, doubtful and filled with intimidation? I believe this all starts with a daily communion time with God. See what He has to say to you through His Word and try to apply it to your life and be guided by what He has to say. Speak with Him through prayer and thanksgiving. Be His representative in such a clear way that others will know that God exists, because they saw or witnessed Him today when they met you. Faith – knowing the power of God that is available in and through you, and be willing to act while depending on that faith.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, please have mercy on us, Your humble, but stubborn children. Thank You for Your words through your servant James. May we carefully search out the full effects of the faith that we are convinced we have. May we prove its effectiveness through our actions today. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!