Faith Produces Good Works

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16 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? – James 2:16 NLT

We know that we are saved “by grace through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast”. We also know that everything we receive while we are here on earth is a free gift from God. So, what is the purpose of “good works” and why are they important? Well, there are at least two good reasons and probably more it you want to break them down. The first is this; now, that we are Christians, Jesus is our example and He went about doing good works.
38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.–Acts 10:38 (NLT)


The second reason is this; doing good works here on earth is how we store our rewards or treasures in heaven.

20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.–Matt 6:20,21 (NLT)


If we do good works for these two reasons, it will keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus and our final reward of living an eternity with Him. If we focus on that, it will make the burdens lighter and we can walk the path with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts and a song of praise on our lips!


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-31-2017

“O to Grace, How Great a Debtor!”

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10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. — James 2:10


The law(s) were given to the children of Israel to show them that sin was in the world. Without the law there would have been no disobedience of the law and therefore they would not have understood sin. With the law, they understood sin and also understood that no human being could live up to the perfect standard required by the law. The law was their/our teacher to show them/us that we all need a Savior. This was no surprise to God. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had prepared a perfect Lamb to be our Savior. Because God is merciful, He sent His only Son into the world as the only perfect human. Jesus came to us knowing that He would be sacrificed for our sins, although He was sinless. Now we live under grace, the unmerited favor of God. We did nothing and can do nothing to earn grace and salvation. It is a free gift from God.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.–Ephesians 2:8,9 (NLT)

We should sing praises to God daily. He is a marvelous, amazing God. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord”!!!!!!!


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-30-2017

Showing Our Love By Our Actions

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Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – James 2:8 NLT
We are all familiar with the commandment that Jesus called the second most important commandment. We believe it, but how do we walk that out in our everyday lives? How do we show the world around us that we love Jesus and that we love them? Of course, we can see those in need physically, financially and materially. We should always fulfill those needs as much as we possibly can. But what about those with spiritual needs? If our neighbor had a deadly disease and we had the cure, would we withhold it? Yet, there are those in our families, our circle of friends, and in our neighborhood, who have a deadly disease called sin.
15 Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death–James 1:15 (ERV)
 

We have the cure for that disease, why don’t we share it with everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Remember, we were once infected with that disease and someone shared the cure with us. “Go and do likewise”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 05-29-2017

Don’t Prejudge

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1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? – James 2:1 NLT
We must be careful not to make quick judgments and choices based on how someone looks or the price of the clothes they wear. God created each of us in His image and has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We must learn to look at people as God sees them.
7 But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see​.​ Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.”  –1 Samuel 16:7 (GW)

Of course, we can’t actually see into their hearts. So, what we must learn to do is withhold our opinions of them until we get to know them. Until then, we should not show favoritism to one person over another. We must also remember that whatever standards we use to judge and form our opinions of others are the same standards that will be used to judge us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 05-28-2017

Worse Than Worthless Words

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26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. –James 1:26 NLT

I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you want have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted.

Galatians 6:1-4 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-27-2017

Read, Repeat, Remember, Repeat

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25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – James 1:25 NLT

Never say that someone or something made you mad. If you get angry, it is because you didn’t control your emotions. There certainly can be a righteous anger, but, we have to be honest because we know that most of our anger is from our pride. We also know that in our times of anger, we think and say things that we should not have said and those words are often very vile and evil. We must plant God’s Word in our hearts because it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Don’t just plant the Word, but water it and feed it everyday. That means that we have to spend time meditating on God’s Word so that we remember it and act accordingly. If we study, meditate and act according to that word, God can and will bless us.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-26-2017

His Prized Possessions

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17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
— James 1:17 NLT

Every good and precious thing that we receive while we are on this earth is a gift from God. He never changes or even gives any indication the He is thinking about or considering change. God is good all the time because God is God all the time. He is the same yesterday, today, and will be the same tomorrow. He is the Solid Rock on which we can plant our feet and know we are protected. He is the Father who never changes, but is always there when we fail him and come humbly back to Him. He gave us a new birth by giving us His Word, both written and in the flesh. We are His possession because He bought us at the highest price anyone could pay. The death of His only Son. We must be faithful in following the example of His Son because of the price He paid for us.

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ​ — John 3:16 ​


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-25-2017

Not Me, Lord!

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13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong and he never tempts anyone else. ​ – James 1:13 NLT


God never tempts us. So, if God isn’t tempting us, then where do those temptations originate? That’s right, they come from 
our fleshly desires and from satan. We know that satan was allowed to tempt Jesus with promises of wealth and grandeur. Jesus, being human, yet perfect, did not give in to those temptations. Why? Because Jesus had one desire and that was to please our Father, God. We are not perfect, so when satan tempts us with his beautiful pictures of what could be if we only let him in, we give into those temptations. Why? Because our fleshly desires are stronger and more immediate than our desire to please God. We are enticed and we allow our desires to mislead us. We think that we can turn our desires off and on like a water fountain. But, we find that once we have compromised with satan, we lose control. Then that sinful idea or thought starts to happen more often and soon it takes on a life of its own. So, we grab a little pleasure here and a little pleasure there. Suddenly, those little pleasures have grabbed us and we can’t shake them. That is when sin latches onto us, takes us further than we want to go, and keeps us longer than we want to stay. Pride says “I would never”.  But reality says we did and we must confess our sins.  
Ask Peter.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-24-2017

Casting Crowns

even-smaller-bug-light112 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. ​  – James 1:12 NLT


God lifts up those that are humble and lowly, so they should be thankful. God brings down the rich, so that they realize they can’t help themselves. They need God just as much as those that are poor. When we go to the grave, we can take nothing with us. Rich or poor, when we meet Jesus face to face, the thing that matters is that we have accepted Him as our Savior. All the material things that we have on earth are meaningless when we reach heaven. We shall all be tested and made to endure temptations. If we endure those temptations and stand before God approved, we will be given the Crown of Life. Do not confuse the Crown of Life with salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God, the Crown of Life is something we earn while we are on earth and it is given to us in heaven. That is why we are admonished to lay up our rewards in heaven and not material things here on earth. Earthly rewards fade away, but heavenly rewards are eternal. The Crown of Life is one of 5 crowns that we can earn. These crowns are not for us to wear and strut around heaven showing them to everyone. The purpose of the crowns is for us to cast them at the feet of Jesus to give Him glory and Honor.
 
Rev. 4:9-11 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-23-2017

God Gives to Us Abundantly!

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If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking ​. – James 1:5 NLT


God has promised to fulfill our every need. If we need wisdom, we need to ask, but when we ask, we must believe that God will do what He has said that He will do. Jesus told His disciples that they had “little” faith and that is why they could not do certain miracles. We must have faith and doubt is the opposite of faith. As long as we have doubts, we will change our minds anytime anyone tells us “God is not going to do that for you”. Make a decision based on what you know, not what you feel. Feelings are unreliable and can be used by satan to bring us down. Study the Bible asking God to guide you and give you insight into His Word. Then you can be sure that what you ask for lines up with His Word and He will give it to you. Why would He not do that? After all, He has already given His most precious possession as a ransom for our souls.

 
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
– John 3:​16-17 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-22-2017