Monday Morning: 01 Jul 2019 – James 2:14-26 ~ Faith produces good works.

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – James 2:14-26 (NLT)

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; 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, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be 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 breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
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Morning Reflection:

Faith produces good works

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
– Jams 2:17 –

James’ point is that living faith expresses itself in obedience to the Word of God and therefore produces good works. To use the illustration of seed that has been planted: you can never be sure if it’s dead or alive until it sprouts and begins to bear fruit. So it is with Christians, the proof of living faith is the good works it produces.

What does James have in mind when he speaks of “good works?”

+ Feeding and clothing the needy.
+ Willingness to make sacrifices in obedience God.
+ Support for the people of God in the face of danger.

In sum: James’ concern is for people who recite the creeds and say all the right things but live ungodly, even evil, lives – even the demons do that. Their “faith” is dead.

Questions for consideration:

Most of us are not asked to make sacrifices like Abraham, or choices like Rahab, but we are, nevertheless, expected to produce good works of one sort or another.

  • What would you say is the evidence that your faith is alive and productive? Please explain.
  • What sacrifices have you made in obedience to God’s word to you? Please explain.
  • Can you think of ways that you have risked living counter to the prevailing culture? Please explain.
  • If creeds and confessions can’t save you, what is their value? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for Living Faith:

Almighty God, you have called us to live out our faith in practical ways that build your Kingdom and help your people. Make us a people who walk-the-walk, not simply talk-the -talk. Imprint on our hearts a passion to love others as you have loved us, and empower us by your Spirit to stay the course when the going gets tough. Give us the ability to see the world around us through the eyes of Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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“The Proof Of Your Love” – for KING & COUNTRY

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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