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Jim Class Day 19

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Scripture: James 2:14-17 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Devotional: Earlier in James we learned that we should not merely be hearers of the Word of God, we should do what it says.  Here James is returning to this line of thinking in honing in on the truth that an all-talk faith is dead.  Real and authentic faith doesn’t just say, it does.  

St. Francis of Assisi is known to have said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” Today we might articulate this as, “don’t just talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk.” Nothing will discredit the message of the Gospel more quickly than empty words spoken from a life that does nothing to live out the truth proclaimed.

What a beautiful picture here of the nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; that it is complimentary expressions of faith, both spoken and lived out by example.

Reflect:

  • Are you more likely to demonstrate your faith through words or through actions? 
  • How might you strengthen the balance between the two in your own life?

Jim Class Day 18

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Scripture: James 2:12-13 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Devotional: It’s easy to view the law as something that inhibits or restricts you.  Perhaps obedience feels a bit stifling in your book.  But James reminds us that you will be judged by a law that gives freedom. The more obedient you are to God’s law, when you couple it with mercy rather than judgment, the more freedom you will experience. 

Surely you’ve had the experience of being or feeling judged by another person or persons.  And it’s likely that the judgment you experienced was no inward motivator for compliance.  The opposite, in fact.  But if you’ve ever been a recipient of extravagant mercy, you know that can quickly change a heart.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.  Every time.

Reflect:

  • Think about a time when you’ve been a recipient of a merciful act.  How did that impact you?
  • How might you be inspired to speak and act in merciful ways in your own relationships and interactions?
  • Look for opportunities today and throughout this week to practice merciful living.

 

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