James 2:14-26 – Living Out Your Faith

Read James 2:14-26

James introduces this section by suggesting a problem he must have observed. “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?” Certainly we’d all agree that faith should show itself through deeds of loving service.

In a recent Bible study discussion, I marveled at my pastor husband, David’s comment about this text. He posed an interesting scenario of observing a discussion about faith between our author here, James, and the apostle Paul. We’d see two very faithful men with two very different perspectives. Is that a bad thing? After all, the gospels all talk about Jesus’ life and ministry from different viewpoints. When it comes to understanding our faith, these differences can be confusing.

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Hebrews 13:7-17 – Is Accepting Grace Hard For You?

Read Hebrews 13:7-17

Did you notice how this text begins and ends with a reference to our faith leaders? Who comes to mind for you as that person who first shared their faith with you and taught you the truth of Scripture? Maybe it was a favorite Sunday School teacher. Maybe it was a friend in your college dorm. Maybe it was Jesus revealing himself to you! Isn’t Jesus the best teacher of all?

When earthly leaders fail or get distracted, we can always trust Jesus. One of the gems in this text packs a powerful promise. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We can rely on Jesus as the truth for our lives. All sorts of new age, spiritual type teachings pop up every day. The Preacher warns us to be careful of that.

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Hebrews 12:14-29 – Unshakable Faith

Read Hebrews 12:14-29

What a wake-up call! The Preacher doesn’t want these new believers (or us) to miss out on God’s promises. He uses the example of Esau as our wake-up call. “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” Can you imagine not seeing God face to face someday?

Beyond our eternal home, the message to be at peace with others is pretty timely. It seems we can’t even scroll through social media these days without seeing all sorts of outlandish comments and hurtful communication. Who does that? We can all fall prey to one of the biggest sins in my book, gossip. We need to be focusing on living a “holy” life instead.

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Hebrews 11:32-40 – Bold Faith

Read Hebrews 11:32-40

What a great trip down memory lane this has been! The common denominator for all the hero stories we’ve been reminded of is faith. Bold faith. These people were not always popular, but putting their trust in God was what they valued more than anything. “By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them.” Don’t ever forget to look back and take note of others who have gone before you! There is a lot of encouragement and wisdom there!

Now for a startling reality! Without God, we are weak. Thankfully, in our weakness, God steps in and gives us strength. Do you have faith enough to believe that? Think about the examples the Preacher has given us. “Their weakness was turned to strength.” How did that happen? Bold faith in a God that loves to provide for his faithful children!

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Hebrews 11:17-31 – Walk By Faith

Read Hebrews 11:17-31

Faith is not a new phenomenon. The Preacher takes us down memory lane here as our reflections continue with what it means to be faithful. The Old Testament comes alive for us as we see how God has used many different individuals to move his story along to this moment. The moment you are living in!

Here’s a little script for you. “It was by faith that … [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE] … was able to do mighty things that many thought impossible [INSERT YOUR STORY].” What mighty story can you tell about how God intervened in your life when you stayed faithful? Maybe you’re “big moment” has yet to happen. Each day can present us little miracles if we take time to look for them.

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