James- Day 24

Thursday, September 29, 2011

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
James 2:21-14

In the next 2 days James uses some “case studies” to help us understand his point.  To understand today’s passage, go back and read Genesis 15:1-6.  Verse 6 is quoted in today’s text.

Go ahead and read it now.

Did you read it?  Good!  Next go read the incredible story James referenced in verse 21 about Abraham and Isaac.  You can find it in Genesis 22:1-18.

Isn’t that an incredible story?  Now, notice that in chronological order, Abraham had already been “counted as righteous” in Genesis 15:6 by God before Abraham displayed that faith in Genesis 22.  Why?  Because God knew Abraham’s heart.  He knew the kind of faith that Abraham had.  He then asked Abraham to display that faith by the circumstances of Genesis 22.  So, when James says in verse 24, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”, he is speaking of justification as a display to mankind of the kind of faith that is authentic enough to show up in the things that Abraham did- namely his willingness to obey God to the point of sacrificing Isaac.  Authentic faith shows up in works.  Dead faith has no works.

Also, read Hebrews 11:17-19 for further reading about Abraham.

I also think that is important here to point out something important.  The works that are being taught here aren’t just any works.  They are the kind of works that God desires, rather than random works that we do out of our flesh.  Works that are being done to try to gain favor with God are dead religion, and can’t save us.

Here is an important question:  Why do you do what you do?  What is your motivation for coming to church, doing your devotions, serving etc.?  Are you trying to earn favor with God?

18 thoughts on “James- Day 24

  1. Mafalda Delienne

    I do what I do because I love doing all the good things that make people happy and me happy…I love doing the devotions because I live to go on there and see everyone’s comment and I’m getting closer and closer to god when I do it I have to do the devos as soon as I wake up cuz that’s my first instincted 🙂 my motivation for coming to church is to see that all my friends went and to learn something different everyday 🙂 as I said before I have to do the devos when I first wake up because that’s my first instincted but my motivation for doing it is that to make people happy when I do it and to make myself happy because when I see that I did a good job then I’m really happy 😀 are you saying that Am I trying to be gods favorite?? Then no because god loves everyone equally and he sent his son to die for ALL! of our sins because he loved us ALL! 🙂

  2. Tristian Lechien

    I do what I do just simply I love our lord Jesus Christ!!!!! 🙂 I love helping people, Ik tht sounds weird but I do.!! 🙂 and I come to church no because i have to take Mafalda every week, but because I want to live in a environment like Sonshine Baptist Church. Thts y I don’t wanna leave Sonshine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😥 I think tht god doesn’t or ever has a favorite person. Or I like him cuz he’s a boy and I don’t like her cuz she’s a girl. This doesn’t happen. God loves every person on this earth equally. God doesn’t have a favorite according to the bible.!!!!! 🙂 Jesus Christ died for ur sin and mine. I always always always always must do the devos after I wake up or I’ll freak!!! I’m like Ezra fix the wifi!!! Lol then he’s like wait! Then I’m ughh! :/ but usually it works out where I just can get on like right now! Like I usually do!!!! 😀 I loved today’s devotion!!! 🙂 ❤ really good! 🙂 love u guys! C u guys Sunday!!! 🙂

  3. i do what i do cause it pleases God!!! i luv doing the devos cause 4 example,if i don’t get something,i hv loving people around me to understand his word better!! 🙂 My motivation 4 coming 2 church is that i want 2 learn something new and so i can tell others about his word!! 🙂 like tristi said i want 2 live in an enviornment like Sonshine!!! 🙂 (i don’t want u 2 leave either!! 😦 ) see u guys Sunday!! ❤ 🙂

  4. Alexis Catapane

    I don’t know if you could really earn favor with God, although I could be wrong! I think God loves everybody equally! “For God so loved the WORLD!” (John 3:16a). I think He can get disappointed in us when we sin though.
    Like I said a couple days ago, I used to go to church and read my bible because I kinda felt like I had to. I think it’s totally different now, because I love church! Just being able to learn about God and fellowship with other Christians is amazing! And I’m soo glad I can do that!
    I think what Ben said at the end of the commentary is a good reminder for me! He said the works James is talking about isn’t just any works, it’s what God wants, and not just random things that we might want. Sometimes I forget that, but it’s a very good reminder! 🙂
    These devos have really been helping me lately, and I’m so proud of everyone who has been getting on and doing them! 🙂

  5. Blake via

    What this is saying is its not just saying that you say you have faith but to show you have faith by sacrefice that God wants. And I do the things I do is because I want to grow it God learn from him become more like him.

  6. I go to church, read my bible, and try to be an encouragement to people not because i want to “earn favor” with God, but because I know that’s what God wants me to do. 🙂 I wouldn’t wanna be any other way, because i know that if i were i wouldn’t be the christian i am today. I think its cool that the book of James isn’t just guidelines on what we should do, but what God desires! Abraham’s faith in God should be how my faith in God is, and idk if i could say that. Sometimes i think “What can I do to fix this?” instead of putting it in God’s hands and letting Him be in control. I think that V.24 is awesome, because James is basically saying our works can show our faith! Abraham was willing to take his own son, because he feared God. But He had faith that He would provide for him!! It’s cool to see our youth group doing works & it shows the faith we have in God! i love it 🙂

  7. Grace

    What i got from this is that it can be really hard to obey God sometimes…but its so worth it! cause he blesses us if we do it with a selfless attitude in His name. I definitely dont do what i do to please others, cause if i was its obviously not working xD Ive been trying harder to do it for God, but i got to be honest…..im usually selfish x3 haha.

    1. Grace

      i usually do what “I” want and i need to do what “God” wants. its hard! plus your works can be a great example of your faith for someone who is skeptical of christians and is observing you.

  8. I read my bible, pray, come to church, encourage others, am a follower of Jesus, try to be a good testimony to those around me, not because I have to, or because I feel like that’s what a “good little Christian girl” should do, but because I want to. I want to worship God, do the things that He’s asked me to do, stay on His path, be a light in this darkness because I’ve experienced what it’s like to feel like the world sucks and nothing but “bad” things happen to you. That nothing will get better because you feel like your doing eveything right, but in reality your really doing the complete opposite and are missing the whole point. I’ve been there, thinking I was on top of my game, and that bad things just kept happening and I’d cry, “why me? Why is all this happening to me?” Well because I wasn’t listening to God and was only going to Him when I needed something. I didn’t have a real relationship with Him, and most importantly, I didn’t have authentic faith, let alone much faith at all in Him. When I read about Abraham again, and how he was about to sacrifice his only son for God, it made me think about how selfish we are. We’re truly selfish. We wouldn’t dream about giving our iPods to someone who barely had nothing, let alone our only son who we tried to have for years! The point I’m trying to make is, most of the time, our faith isn’t what it should be. It took me a long time to realize I was in la la land. I do the things that I do for God, because I realized I need Him. I need a real relationship with Him, I need His word, I need communication with Him! My life was a mess without these things before, why go back? We need God!
    God should be our motivation enough but sadly that’s not only the case. A lot of teens are brought to church by their parents, and they come because well sometimes they just have to. My situation is a little different. I used to come to church because it was fun, and I got to hang out with friends and hear awesome stories in the bible, that were once just stories to me.. But my heart wasn’t fully into it. Now I come because without going to church I feel like something is missing. Without hearing practical lessons from bible stories, that were written to TEACH us something, or connecting with all of you, I feel like a part of my life is missing. Without reading my bible everyday I feel like there’s something I didn’t do, and something important! I’m ultimately cheating myself if I don’t do my devotions. I’m missing out on hearing what God wants to teach me everyday. My motivations have turned some things into passions, and that’s why I want to be in full time ministry one day. I love everything about this life that I’m now living for God!
    I’m not trying to “earn God’s favor”, because God favors each of us the same, but I am trying to make God proud of me, and when He looks at the way I lived for Him, He can smile and say, “Melanie, you lived the life I made for you, you made me proud! Good job!” I want to be someone worth dying for!

    Great devotion today! It’s awesome to read all these comments and to see how it applies to each of us! 🙂 way to go Grace for making it on here! You’re awesome! 🙂

  9. Ryan via

    We can get so wrapped up in serving out of the wrong mindset and attitude. We can never even attempt to repay god for what he has done for us. I think serving God and serving others reveals some things, 1 God has made a change in us and we want to be Christ like, and 2 we want to help others so they can see the changes in our lives from what God has done for us.

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