Abide – Good Morning
The Rahab in Us – God Never Gives Up on Anyone
In James 2:24-26 NLT says, “24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 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. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”
In this chapter James argues against favoritism and for the necessity of good deeds. He presents three principles of faith: (1) Commitment is an essential part of faith. We cannot be a Christian simply by affirming the right doctrines or agreeing with biblical facts (James 2:19). We must commit your mind and heart to our Lord Jesus Christ. (2) Right actions are the natural by-products of true faith. A genuine Christian will have a changed life (James 2:18). (3) Faith without good deeds doesn’t do anybody any good – it is useless (James 2:14-17). James’s teachings are consistent with Paul’s teaching that we receive salvation by faith alone. Paul emphasizes the purpose of faith: to bring salvation. James emphasizes the results of faith: a changed life.
Two brief questions that help us monitor our spiritual health are: Who are we trusting? and Why are we working? If we are trusting anyone (including ourselves) other than our Lord Jesus Christ as the source and provider of our justification, we are lost. If we are acting for any reason other than in obedience and thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus Christ for what He has done for us, we are lost. We only truly find our salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. Out of our trust in Him will flow action.
In the same way, even Rahab the prostitute was made right with God by her actions. God’s final judgment on a person’s life considers the righteousness that person shows through works. But why would James bring up Rahab? After speaking of the great faith of Abraham, the father of Israel, James cited the example of Rahab, a pagan woman with a bad reputation (see Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-25). But these two people, as opposite as they were, cemented James’s argument – both people were made right with God on the basis of their actions that resulted from their faith. The contrast is not between faith and works, but between genuine faith and false faith.
Faith and good deeds are as important to each other as body and spirit. Good deeds are not added to faith; instead, the right kind of faith is faith that “works,” that results in good deeds. Otherwise, Christianity is nothing more than an idea.
No one is moved to action without faith; no one’s faith is real unless it moves him or her to action. The action is obedience to God. This draws us back to James’s words in the first part of this chapter concerning care for others. The believer must do what God calls him/her to do – serve his/her brothers and sisters in Christ, refuse to discriminate among them, and help them out with good deeds.
Understanding how faith and deeds work together still doesn’t mean that our lives will be different. James is about to continue with a series of life situations that we all encounter. It is in these everyday events that we demonstrate our faith to be alive or dead. From time to time, we need to take our own spiritual pulse by matching our lives with God’s word. But we also need to have people around us, the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we can ask, “How do others see us putting our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ into action?”
The action is obedience to God through His Words, and with the help of the Holy Spirit. AMEN!
Abide – Good Night
God Redeems Our Mess
In Luke 22:19-20 NLT says, “1 In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. 2 Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. 3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. 5 Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”
Winter is the rainy season in Israel, the time when crops are planted. Spring was a good time to go to war because the roads were dry, making travel easier for troop movements, supply wagons, and chariots. In Israel, wheat and barley were ready to be harvested in the spring. These crops were an important food source for traveling armies.
In the episode with Bathsheba, David allowed himself to fall deeper and deeper into sin. (1) David abandoned his purpose by staying home from war (2 Samuel 11:1). (2) He focused on his own desires (2 Samuel 11:2). (3) When temptation came, he looked into it instead of turning away from it (2 Samuel 11:3). (4) He sinned deliberately (2 Samuel 11:4). (5) He tried to cover up his sin by deceiving others (2 Samuel 11:6-15). (6) He committed murder to continue the cover-up (2 Samuel 11:15, 17). Eventually David’s sin was exposed (2 Samuel 12:9) and punished (2 Samuel 12:10-14). (7) The consequences of David’s sin were far-reaching, affecting many others (2 Samuel 11:17; 12:11, 14, 15).
David could have chosen to stop and turn from evil at any stage along the way. But once sin gets started, it is difficult to stop (James 1:14-15). The deeper the mess, the less we want to admit having caused it. It’s much easier to stop sliding down a hill when we are near the top than when we are halfway down. The best solution is to stop sin before it starts. Amen!
The Gospel – The Good News
In John 3:16-17 NLT says, “16 “For God loved the world so much that 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.”
The message of The Good News – The Gospel comes to a focus in these verses. God’s love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. Here God sets the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships – when we love someone dearly, we are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of His Son, the highest price He could pay. Our Lord Jesus Christ accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that He had bought for us. When we share the Good News with others, our love must be like our Lord Jesus Christ’s – willingly giving up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God’s unconditional love.
In John 14:6-7 NLT says, “6 Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”
This is one of the most basic and important passages in Scripture. How can we know the way to God? Only through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way because He is both God and man. By uniting our lives with His, we are united with God. Trust our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit to take you to our Father God, and all the benefits of being God’s child will be yours.
Home Fellowship Churches Services
We are glad to invite you all to join us in our Zoom Services; Leadership & Discipleship at 5 pm every 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month, and Sunday Service at 7 pm and Bible Study on Wednesday at 6 pm, and Praise & Worship/Karaoke on Friday at 7 pm Central Time (CT). Karaoke location TBA. Our neighborhood and home church is at https://bridge.church.
To Join our Zoom Meetings, just click the link below:
Meeting ID: 735 486 3381
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Podcast Messages & Bible Studies Topic: Fruit of the Holy Spirit, God’s Promises for All Our Every Needs, Books of Leviticus, the Gospel Books (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), Revelation and Romans, Pastor/Chaplain Elias’ books – “From the Words and Thoughts to the Swords and Battlegrounds”, and “From the Battlegrounds and Wars to the Overcoming and Victories” portions (to be published soon).
Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples,
Pastor/Chaplain Elias Aguilar Busuego Jr PhD DTM
Founding Pastor – Home Fellowship Churches – https://homefellowshipchurches.org
Chaplain – American Legion (AL) District 10 – Texas, AL Post 302 Hutto, TX, formerly at AL Post 447 Round Rock, TX
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