Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Good Is It?

James 2:14

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

112015 Ray McDonaldWhat good is it – if you shoot a 35 (even par) on the back 9 – if you already shot a 46 (10 over par) on the front 9? Sure – an 81 is a good score for me – anywhere from 76 to 83 would be considered a good round for me – but with 4 pars on the bad nine – that means I blew 10 shots on 5 holes (yes – 2 snowmen were involved if you know what I mean).  I’m working on a new swing and I might have worked it out on the second 9 – we’ll see.  I know one thing – my putter was hot today!  Oh to be consistent one day!

What good is it – if you eat well all day but pig out on a Snickers bar at the end of the day (not saying I did this – just wondering what good it would be)? Dieting half the day has very little value if you chow down on a half-gallon of ice cream at the end of the day (again – not saying I did this – at least not recently).  In order to get the diet to be helpful – one must be consistent – one must follow up a good day with another good day!

What good is it – if we invite new people through the front door of the church (new visitors attending) if older members (not in age but not visitors) are leaving through the side or back door (so to speak)? If our goal as a church is to make disciples – unless we are sending out the disciples we are helping to develop to other harvest fields – we are not growing if we lose as many older members as we gain newer members (something to think about with that one).

What good is it – to have faith and have no works? Is that even possible? Not according to the Lord’s brother – James. Here is today’s passage in partial context. James 2:14–26 – 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. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

What good is it – if we say we have faith but have no works? If we have real faith – we will have actions/works. We cannot call ourselves a follower of Christ if we are not striving to do the things of Christ. We cannot call ourselves the church – the Body of Christ – if we are not willing to live as Christ lived – sacrificial living – denying self and taking up our cross and following Jesus. Jesus even said – Matthew 10:38 – Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. The proof is in the pudding – as they use to say – the results prove whether our faith is real or not!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 19, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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