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Tag: God

Faith and Works: James 2:14-26

James 2:14-26 A Faith Expressed

Our relationship with Chirst is transformative in that it seeps into every creavase of our being. While the bible does contain many commandments for the Christian to follow, this is not the point.  The point of the Gospel is that we are saved and transformed by the power of God and guided towards a new way of living. If we believe that Jesus Christ came and died for our sins then we understand that He is offering us a new and transformed life.  Our faith goes beyond mere knowledge and straight to expressing that same belief.  

And He Shall Be Called Everlasting Father

And He Shall Be Called: Everlasting Father

Isaiah strives to ensure the reign of God is not only established by the Might of God but also depicts the length of His reign.  There is a temporal and eternal aspect of God in describing Him as both everlasting and Father.  With these two words alone, there is no question as to what Isaiah is saying.  Jesus reigns has been inaugurated from the beginning of time and will continue into eternity.  He is the progenitor of all life and by Him all things have come into being.  He is the order and the guide for all creation and He rules His people with the love and care that would spring forth from a father.  He is our Everlasting Father.

And He Shall Be Called: Mighty God

And He Shall Be Called: Mighty God

Strength and might are not something to be scoffed at.  Nor at they things that need to be displayed in a braggadocios manner.  True strength does not need to prove itself and nothing is truly beneath it.  Strength is not “too good” for a certain place or activity but neither does it feel the need to reassure its presence through multiple and numerous loud assertions.  For Jesus Christ and His coming, Jesus displayed His might.  While being fully God, He lowered himself and became man, a concept many other religious scoff at.  Yet the reason for this is clear.  He was coming to save His people and declaring war against the forces of darkness and evil.  

And He Shall Be Called: Wonderful Counselor

And He Shall Be Called: Wonderful Counselor

At the front of who this coming Messiah is remains a Wonderful Counselor.  When we hear this phrase our initial reaction is to reduce it to a good psychologist.  He is someone we can go to who would give us good advice.  However true this may be, this severely understates the full scope of Jesus Christ.  When Isaiah speaks of something being “wonderful” it is not as we understand it now, but more so as something that is full of wonder. It is incomprehensible and unfathomable. The counsel that Christ brings defies the expectations of mankind and exceeds our humanly ability to understand.  Furthermore, Christ goes beyond merely being a counselor as we understand that term, but he is the one who derives the plan.  The counsel that Jesus brings is the plan for our salvation.

The Book of James: Faith and Works - James 2:1-13

James 2:1-13 Money and Mercy

Too often we judge a person by their financial wealth and ability to produce. We give fine seats to those who have money and influence and place them above others. Through God, however, this system is turned on it’s head. God, having all the riches of the world, chose to come to those who were poor and in need. Likewise, James exhorts the readers to do the same. Money causes problems and conflict and generally serves as the sign the world uses for worth, even intrinsic worth. With God, however, the sign of worth comes from knowing and being known by our creator and heavenly Father.

The Book of James: Faith and Works - James 1:19-27

James 1:19-27 Input and Output

James begins to look at the input and output of our religion.  He reinforces the idea that whatever a person allows to rule inside of them will naturally flow through them.  There is a natual expression of the change in our identity that occurs with Jesus Christ.  Whlie James isn’t claiming that it is works that save us, he does state plainly that it is the works that show our faith, for good or bad.  Whatever we allow in to shape our identity will be the thing that is expressed through what we do.  Furthermore, this is not a passive process but an intentional shaping and molding as we allow the word of God to become implanted deep into our spiritual DNA.  

The Book of James: Faith and Works - James 1:12-18

James 1:12-18 Dealing With Temptation

Every person seeking to follow Christ will most assuredly encounter tempation along the way.  This is an unavoidable fact that we must be willing to deal with.  It is during these times of temptation that what we believe about God and about His salvation becomes clear.  We quickly see what the things we turn to are and who we blame for our situation.  But James makes it clear, that being able to stand up in the face of temptation is a valiant expression of our faith; one that leads to eternal glory.  Furthermore, God is there every step of the way through our times of temptation to see us through to the other side.  

Everyone Did As They Saw Fit

Everyone Did As They Saw Fit

For the people of Israel, they had entered into a period before King Saul but after Joshua had led them into the promise land.  By God’s miraculous hand, the people were not only saved from the Egyptians, but were under the constant guidance and protection of God during the process.  When they arrived at the promise land, their victory was secured by the hand of God as a display of His sovereignty and might.  When the author of Judges claims that Israel had no King, it is a harsh indictment of the people whose Sovereign King had led them.  They abandoned God for the chaos of everyone pursuing their own desires and wishes.

Enough

Enough: Are You Enough?

We have come to God knowing that we are not enough but that God loves us despite whatever we do.  Yet, for whatever reason, we can know that God’s love for us goes beyond our ability to earn it and still hesitate to give Him our lives.  There is a deep seeded fear that God is not…
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Enough

Enough: Am I Good Enough?

The first time I had applied to enter into the Pastor training program, I was flat out rejected.  This was odd because, for me, I had believed I heard the call of God.  Others had affirmed it in me.  I was encouraged that I would get in no problem.  So, confidently walking in, I was…
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