Happy Sunday Friends! I hope this finds you all in good spirits, good health, and good standing! We’re having a staycation during our “fall break” with our kids. Set up our tent in the backyard to give the kids a taste of sleeping outside before we actually start taking family camping trips. Of course, we have no idea when we’ll go on our first trip since we are locked into volunteering every week at church. We had another great Sunday teaching three and four-year-olds about Baby Moses and that “God is with you wherever we go. (Joshua 1:9)” Typed that without even looking at my notes! Got it!
Ms. Sarah Reeves released a new album this week. If you are not familiar with her, she has a very distinct sound and a fun energetic beat to most of her songs. She could easily be a pop sensation but she remains in the Christian music scene. If you have time today, she did a live release party for her new album and it can be watched here. But today, I’m sharing the most recent single she released.
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If 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? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
These verses and the ones we will look at the next two days are what sets James apart from all his peers in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul strongly preached that faith alone would bring salvation, yet would instruct all the churches to live lives full of acts of love, mercy and grace. In my opinion, while James is the only one who clearly states that faith without acts of good makes the faith useless, honestly I can not see how you can have one without the other. True faith in Jesus propels you into good works. True faith in the word of Jesus pushes you to be involved in the world, doing all you can to make the world a better place. This does not mean that there’s a contest on who did the most good to get into Heaven, but it does mean that you have to do good. You can not just say you believe in Jesus and continue living a life of selfish ambition, American greed, and all consuming distractions. Turn your life into one of serving others and you will see your faith come alive!
Reading plan: James 5:13-20
Deeper reading plan: Hosea 11
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray for peace and common sense to infect the minds of Americans. Pray for civility and calm and for Christians to be a beacon of hope and consistency for all those who may face increased anxiety in this coming month. Pray for revival that is permanent and world changing.
Fitness challenge: Rest
Worship: Spend today in prayer and worship. Get to church or get to a computer and watch church. America needs a revival like never before.