Let Me Be Frank… 7-17-19

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 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.”   J
ames 2:17-18

One of my most prized possessions is a laminated piece of paper with sermon notes on it.  “Jesus came while you were out” is one of my favorite lines written in my father’s handwriting.  I’m sure he just grabbed a piece of paper when he was preparing for the weekend or inspiration hit.  He would write key phrases down and flesh out the ideas on either side.  The book of James seems to follow this idea of catchphrases and sermon notes.

James reads like a New Testament book of Proverbs.  It moves quickly from one idea to another and doesn’t seem to stay long on each subject.  Prayer, suffering, endurance, controlling the tongue, faith and works, and favoritism are all big ideas in this book but there is one central idea that is seen throughout.

Christians must live out their faith.
They should be doers, not just hearers, of God’s Word.  That’s why James says, “Faith without works is useless.”  James is not suggesting in any way that our works lead to our salvation.  It is a result of it.  I love the way the Message puts it into perspective.
18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

James 2:18 (MSG)

“Jesus came while you were out…”  May we never miss an opportunity to show the world what Jesus has done for us!  May the Scriptures we read change our focus, our hearts, and our actions!  And may we be about His business as we change our community for the glory of God!

We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 
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