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James Chapter 2

10/21/2010

James Chapter 2 and Challenge #2!

Have you ever been shown partial treatment by someone?  Or have you been hurt by someone that is showing partial treatment to someone else?

This is the first thing that James addresses in Chapter 2.

  • Do not show favoritism. (v. 1)  If we, as Christians, give better treatment to someone, because of wealth, status, etc., we are being inconsistent with the love we are showing to people.

In stopping this behavior, we can move forward in our maturing process.  After all, none of the earthly distinctions that we have on earth, matter in the presence of our Lord.  Christians should really be the last ones to be impressed with social status.

We should treat each other equally, show compassion to each other equally, and love everyone, regardless of the money they make or the title they have.

Partiality can also be shown to those that are making good choices vs those who aren’t.  When we have the tendency to do that, we need to remember what Christ forgave us for…more than we ever deserve!  And then love that person!

*Before we move on to the next section and you get to see my opinions, let me remind you that I don not think that I am perfect.  These are things that I am working on daily.  And sometimes I fail…a lot of times, but I’m trying!

I know you’ve heard it said before that Christians are a reason that some don’t turn to Christ.  Ouch!  While this is pretty harsh, it should give us pause and examine what it is the world views of us. Realize that no matter what we do, we will NEVER be perfect!  However, we can take steps every day to try to become more like Him, and therefore, reflect Him to the world.  How do we do that???

By putting our faith into action!  By reading His word and DOING what it says!  I read a quote recently that says,

“nothing is KNOWN until it also reshapes the life.”  Alec J. Motyer

Can we really say we know God’s Word if we aren’t doing more than merely reading it?

James reminds us that:

  • Faith with out deeds is dead! (v.14-17)  and Without putting our faith into action, we can not be “saved” from the consequences of our own actions (v.14).

Have you ever gone against God’s Word and then had natural consequences follow?  I’m not talking about punishment, I mean, consequences.  The worst consequence of all, to me, is the building of a wall between me and God.  I know I have done this.  And on the reverse, have you not done something you knew God was telling you to do and know that you missed out on a blessing because of it?  I, unfortunately, have felt this regret in my gut as well.

When we know God’s Word and we don’t put it into action, we are missing our purpose.  We fail to reflect God’s glory to the world.

*Does any one else out there think this confuses people?  When we profess to be Christians, but act just like the world?  Or claim to love Christ, but not show love to others??  not mirror Him?  You can see how this can quickly spin the minds of those watching.  I know I have been convicted about this very thing!

We know that once we receive Christ, we get to spend eternity with Him.  Now, in response to that, is it enough for us to just accept that gift and do nothing with it?  Is it enough for us to get to go to heaven or do we want others to join us???

James tells us that dead, or inactive, faith is useless.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be USEFUL!

  • We are given good examples of those who have put their faith into action.  Abraham(v. 21) and Rahab (v. 25) both risked much to be faithful to God.  Abraham, his one and only son, and Rahab, her safety.  Wow!  Both did big things for God…and both had to risk big.  They weren’t complacent and comfortable.

Look at what verse 23 calls Abraham. God’s friend.  When we continue to act in obedience to God, that is when we have an intimate relationship with Him!

That brings us to Challenge #2.  Last week, we gave up something, this week, we are adding something.  Put your faith into action (even if it takes sacrifice) and tell us how you did it!

SO, I think I’ll ask you the question that ended our study for the week:

If you were arrested for being a Christian, what evidence would be used to prove the point??

 

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy Staines permalink
    10/25/2010 10:50 am

    This final question really got me thinking. WOW! It seems like I could stay in the book of James forever and keep learning something. When I became more aware of the things I was “feeding” myself with, like TV shows that are mind-numbing and filled with things Jesus would never watch, or friends with bad habits that we need to steer clear of, it became apparent that I am not seeking as much I should from God. This has opened the door for me to be excited about spending time with Him, absorbing His word, loving Him. Sometimes, I want to shout, “Look at me! I’m growing in the Lord” and then realize that it’s my actions that will shout it out for me, I don’t need attention or glory for it…God does. It’s so refreshing to know it’s all HIS and all for His kingdom. It makes me want to be an example and live better, and not be a “sayer” but a “doer”! Thanks so much for this you guys! :)

    • Jennifer permalink*
      10/25/2010 11:03 am

      Amy, that is so great!! It is so encouraging to hear what God is doing in you! That means He’s going to do (and is) doing something great through you! You are awesome! Thank you for your encouragement :).

  2. Jennifer permalink
    10/25/2010 11:01 am

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