About Me

What should I say? I hope by reading my blog you come to learn who I am. I always want Christ first in my life. I want to consistently show the fruit of the spirit in my life. I want others to be blessed by what I go through and learn from it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Faith and Fruit

"Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong" 1 Corinthians 16:13

The Bible study I am attending just started studying the book of James; I really love that book. James actually has one of my favorite verses in it...it's James 2:18 "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." I know a lot of people will point to James and try to talk about hot it doesn't fit into what a lot of the rest of the New Testament says, I couldn't disagree more. I think James actually follows along quite nicely. James is not a letter about works being the vehicle of salvation, I see it as obviously telling us what out faith should look like in our life. It's not saying "do this and you'll get into Heaven" it's more saying "Excellent, you have faith? It should look like this."

Our faith is an intensely personal thing, but it shouldn't stop at our skin, it should show in how we act toward others, in how we speak, and what we do when nobody is watching. By the way, one thing I've learned is that unless we're alone someone is watching you to see how you act in any given situation, and when we are alone, God is still there.

While faith starts in our heart and mind, it should flow out into every aspect of our life. That won't happen overnight, but it should be happening. I hope it is happening more in my life than it used to, and I hope in the future, it will even more so. My new prayer is that every day, I will begin to show more and more of the fruit of the Spirit, and that when I need to work on one, God will make it clear that I need work, and He'll show me what I need to do.

Why do we need a book like James? Our nature is sinful, that means we don't naturally know how to act as a citizen of Heaven. I think 2 Timothy Chapter 2 backs James up, look at verse 15: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

I don't always react well to frustrating situations, I often become angry and lash out at the person I'm dealing with. Years ago, I realized this, now if this comes up, I just shut my mouth, is this perfect? Nope, but it's better than vomiting my anger and my shortcomings all over someone else. Someday, I'll learn how to overcome this, but until then, I'll just deal with it the best way I know how.

Today as I was writing, I was listening to some hymns again, and again it was Jadon Lavik's album "Roots Run Deep" and the song was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Today I pray that we will al learn how to better show Christ's love to everyone around us.

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