"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
We've heard this verse so many times before that it can get stale and lose its meaning, but this is known as the greatest verse in the Bible. Jesus chose to give this message to a Pharisee who came to him at night, perhaps alone. Nicodemus, who was a leader of the Jews, asked Jesus questions, many questions. When there are things we don't understand in the Bible, and there are many, should we not go to Jesus, alone, at night, or perhaps dawn, when we are vulnerable, open and seeking? In Luke 11:9, Jesus tells us, "And so I tell you, keep on asking, keep on seeking, and you will find." Thank You Lord, for this promise!
"Faith without works is dead." James 2:26
It is pretty clear what James is saying here in his short letter of 5 chapters. Perhaps he noted in his travels that many people who called themselves Christians were not in fact acting like Christians. James reminds them that merely saying that you have certain beliefs is not good enough. True faith in Jesus should be apparent in word AND deed! Is the world any different today?
I remember once when I was dealing with one of our suppliers in our business and I was very impatient and impolite. A few years after, this supplier came back and I was my more amiable self. For some reason I was able to witness that I was a Christian. This man said to me, "You weren't a Christian a few years ago, were you?" I was quite dismayed because I very definitely was, but did not act as if I was!!!!
Although we are justified by faith in Christ, and works cannot save us, we need to check the barometer of our faith- our life! Does our life show we are believers? True faith is seen in a good life. In the introduction to the Letter of James in my Bible, it reads, "James stresses the need for Christian living not only to show the reality of a person's inner development but to show the world that the Gospel does, in fact, change lives. If a person claims to be a Christian but is no different from an unbeliever, what benefit is that to anyone, much less to a world in need of truth? When we follow Christ in work and action, we can be a transforming force in the world."
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