James 2:14-26 – September 26
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
James 2:14-26 – Faith and Deeds
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Keep Up the Good Work | Becky Newman
James is posing an impossible task to prove his point — faith alone cannot be shown because it is within the thoughts and attitudes of the mind and heart. But the manifestation of faith can be shown in good works. It doesn’t mean that it takes good works to get to heaven but rather that our faith should be evident to others in the good that we do. Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
You created me to do good works. Why? So that others could see You in what I do and even find You. I’m up in the middle of the night unable to sleep after an intuition that was causing nightmares was confirmed to be true. I’m crying out to You for wisdom and words and actions, again, so I decided to meet with You in Your Word. You are clearly telling me to keep up the good fight, that I can point him to You by my deeds at this time when he’s not letting me speak into him.
Help me to remain steadfast and show my faith by my deeds. Help me to guard my tongue and give me the words he needs to hear in the tiny interactions we have. Above all, I pray that what he sees through me and through my husband and through other believers in his life points him to You, and that he even re-finds You.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.