The Unity Between Faith and Works

In the Bible, James Epistle mentions faith without works is dead.

Many people misunderstand the truth behind it.

Why is that?

Because it leads people to believe good deeds are the entry into heaven.

What is James saying?

He isn’t implying good deeds equals salvation.

God is precise on the origin of heaven. He used Apostle Paul to convey salvation as His gift of grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).

In fact, James is expanding on Apostle Paul message that faith produces works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV

James reminds us to carry out good deeds not for receiving favoritism but to radiate Christ’s loving nature.

Christian works are a byproduct of faith.

It’s easy to take scripture out of context. The problem is when I do this I’m taking away from the full scope of the message.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to use part of scriptures.

But sometimes, to clarify its lesson the whole section requires attention. And a prime example is faith without works is dead.

Here’s what I mean.

Contained within James’ message is 13 scriptures. Each of them by themselves is helpful but when interwoven together they explain the reason behind his message.

For instance, he begins with heightening the connection between faith and good deeds. He gives examples of the way they work together. And used Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac as an excellent illustration (James 2:21-23).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the interesting part.

James is sharing the same truth spoken by Christ.

Jesus put it this way:

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

 

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’40 “ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!  Matthew 25:35-40 NLT

 

I think you’ll agree with me when I say Christ word is final. Here is Jesus’s blueprint for the way faith and good deeds work together.

And with Christ as our guide, we can’t go wrong.

 

Unveiling Christ’s Intercession

Our main means of conscious contact with God is praying. Once God places us in His kingdom, then He unlocks the channel of communication. And the key that opens the door is Christ’s intercession.

Remember, everything in God’s promised plan for salvation comes through Jesus. This includes answered prayers. Since Christ is the Lord’s intercessor, it places Him as the primary source of receiving God’s undeniable existence.

Here’s something we both can agree on is without Christ mediation our relationship with God lays dormant. No one can experience God except through a personal and trusting relationship with Jesus. For this reason, we must let go of our personal agendas and dedicate our lives to Christ.

Nothing pleases God more than our willingness to seek Jesus and live a life anchored in His word. And when we abandon ourselves to His truth; the ability to live holy in a troubled world emerges.

In fact, a life absent from Christ’s intervention is one full of darkness and filled with deception.

And the best part is with Christ on your side God provides the best defense against the devil’s greatest tool—temptation.

My Experience with Christ’s Intercession

In my experience with the Lord’s eternal Arbitrator, everything needed to live a Christian life is at my disposal. For example, before my involvement with Jesus my efforts to overcome sin’s stronghold failed. I had no strength to fight the lust of the flesh.

Why is that?

Because I had no understanding the significance Christ has on my eternal destination.

But when our Father shed His grace on my life Christ interceded on my behalf everything changed. My powerless over transgression lost its effectiveness. That’s when I realized the intercession Jesus brings is one with a spiritual courage God’s enemy can’t penetrate.

The Reality of Christ’s Reality

Here’s how we know Christ’s intercession is real. For one thing, we discover the Holy Spirit dwells within us. This separates us from sin and makes His presence a driving force to do God’s will. In return, our conviction to a better devotion to God becomes stronger.

Another dividend this intercession pays is heaven. Indeed, Christ makes this possible.

As shown above, Christ intercession with God shows us a direct path to a life beyond our physical existence. This divine privilege isn’t by accident but from God’s love. And through our faith in Jesus God cleanses our sins and prepares us for heaven. How awesome is that?

God’s Unwavering Resolutions

I know what you are thinking. Another share on New Year’s resolutions. Yes, people express their thoughts on how to avoid breaking those self-made promises. They elaborate on solutions guaranteed for success.

A point often overlooked is personal resolutions are self-centered. They rely on self-will. And this opens the door for failure. Because as humans we have limitations.

Self-reliance causes me problems. Every time I use my resources it doesn’t turn out as planned. Most of the time an unforeseen circumstance alters or prevents me from achieving the goal. As a result of those circumstances frustration sets in and I procrastinate or abandon the project.

Resolutions

So what’s the solution?

God.

Here’s the bottom line, when God brought me into the kingdom my priorities changed. It began with Christ. From that point forward I realized the most important action is picking up my cross and walking in Jesus’s footprints. Then I finally understood God’s eternal resolution—heaven.

Let me clarify this spiritual awakening.

God never fails to keep His promises and the biggest reality He delivers is a resolution from sin (Romans 5:12-21). This isn’t found anywhere else except in Christ. For me to receive this gift I must stay willing to live for Jesus.

Resolutions

The best part is once I surrender to Christ then He makes me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5: 17).  How awesome is that? God wants us new and gave Jesus the power to do so.

But what is a new creation?

And is it true?

The measuring stick for becoming a new creation in God’s eyes is discovering an increase in holy living. This derives from building a one-on-one relationship with Christ. Spending quality time with God is crucial and takes discipline. It’s easy to let other responsibilities take me away from prayer and meditation.

Here’s something we can both agree on is the Holy Spirit gives proof to our new and improved existence. God releases His Spirit inside our innermost self so we internalize Him. Nothing matches the soothing comfort He brings and this profound experience motivates me to keep devoting myself to Christ.

Given these points, God’s unwavering resolutions make living an enjoyable and uplifting experience. Remember, when life’s terms cause problems turn to Christ and find peace. I know you can experience Christ’s impact because God wants to Father you.

Resolutions

The Reality of the Human Conscience

After Adam and Eve’s fall from God’s grace, He activated the human conscience (Genesis 3:9-10).

Why is that?

Because He uses this inner-awareness as a reminder of His presence and to experience the discomfort of disobeying His commands.

The Human Conscience’s Reality

On the positive side, experiencing this unfavorable behavior is an opportunity to draw closer to Christ.  God calls us to recognize our infraction and take corrective actions.

And the first step to making it right with Him is abandoning ourselves to Christ.

Now, this is important because surrendering to Jesus without reservation captures God’s attention. Remember, God made Christ the conqueror over sin and without abiding in Him temptation engulfs our existence.

On the negative side, ignoring the conscience is dangerous. We don’t have to look far to notice the destruction caused by a dead conscience.  Evildoers are everywhere, and the news media with the advancement in technology gives us instant access to wickedness.

My Dead Conscience

I know the outcome from a conscience gone dead. It’s not pleasant. Everything I anchored in selfishness. I wasn’t concerned with others. My tongue was full of vulgar words causing others to turn away in disgust.

This spiritual agony placed me at odds with God. In fact, it left me in the paralyzing grip of His enemy. Yes, Satan is real, and because of his stronghold on my heart, it left me in ruins.

The devil turned me away from God and led me to a life of alcoholism. And let me say, a belly full of booze coupled with a hardened heart brings loneliness.

Another reality of my inactive conscience was the bitterness and resentments I carried inside my inner-spirit. But when I was in this mindset it stayed nonexistence keeping me in darkness.

So what’s my point?

It’s simple. To understand the way the human conscience connects with God’s Spirit. And to share with you this incredible gift from God.

Now, the conscience is a small part of Christ’s eternal plan. To stop here isn’t enough. But I think you will agree with me when I say without a conscience our ability to recognize disobedience stays elusive.

God’s View On Christmas

God’s view on Christmas is salvation through the birth of His Son Christ Jesus. As Christians, He brings us into the powerful reality of His eternal plan. This amazing gift is the cornerstone of salvation and our foundation into heaven (Revelation 21:4).

To the world, Christmas means a time for giving presents. Each December people’s excitement reaches a higher level. They go to extreme measures to create a perfect scene for the season.

 

Here’s something we both can agree on, God shows His love through the deliverance of His Son Jesus Christ. And we need not wait for Christmas to give Him thanks.

It’s essential to realize without Christ our spirits stay empty. I’m familiar with the penalties from living apart from God. My infractions of His rules engulfed me in disappointment and filled my life with regrets.

Before He redeemed me, Christmas had a carnal meaning. It was a time to make amends for wrong behavior (sin) by buying gifts and showing kindness. And when the New Year rolled in the lusts of the flesh overtook the goodness.

It brings me joy to share with you my outlook on Christmas changed and at its center is Christ. When God rescued me from agnosticism that’s when I realized Christ’s birth is crucial.

And the best part is Jesus entrance into the world paves the way to an eternal existence with God.

This transformation is no accident but an act of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).

Why is that?

The answer is the Lord promises salvation to those who hear His calling and repent will live with Him forever (2 Peter 3:9).

How awesome is that?

God wants you, and His New Covenant began at Christ’s birth.

Yes, God’s view on Christmas is Christ (Isaiah 7:14), and through the Holy Spirit, we know the truth.

The powerful reality for us is Christmas goes beyond a day set aside for reflection. Our understanding of its significance is a daily experience. And it’s not limited to just the birth of Christ but includes His death, resurrection, and ascension.

Remember, my friend; our bond lies in Christ. I am grateful God crossed our paths, and I wish you a peaceful and enticing Christian Christmas!

 

Psalm 1 God’s Eternal Outlook

One of the greatest examples of God’s eternal outlook on how humans should live is Psalm one. It depicts the way He intends for us to respond to Him. Here we discover His separation between good and evil and His grace versus the wrath imposed on evil doers.

God Defines His Eternal Outlook

 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 

2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 

Nothing captures the Lord’s attention more than walking away from unfavorable living and follow His commands. This isn’t easy because we realize a few family members and friends are among those who live in spiritual blindness.

So the question God asks is am I willing to trust Him and make the right choice.

God is precise in the way He teaches us to live. He never changes. Even though the psalmist lived thousands of years ago, the validity of this truth still stands today. And in the New Testament Christ preached the same reality.

Here our Father shows us to place Him first by building a mindset anchored in His word. God wants us to think of Him, follow His truth, and take action on His commandments. Each of us must remember our salvation is His gift. And we need to show Him gratitude for delivering us from evil.

God's Eternal Outlook

On the positive side, meditating on God unveils spiritual wisdom; an attribute reserved for faithful believers and delivered through Christ. And the more one embraces Jesus, a life filled with God’s love, grace, and mercy emerges.

It’s a joyous and enlightening experience to understand God. One no one wants to miss. I love building a private relationship with God. It’s uplifting and filled with peace. No matter how troublesome life becomes, He is my way out of distress and into serenity.

How willing am I to follow God regardless of the outcome?

To receive God’s blessing, I must abandon myself and be careful who I call friends.

eternal haven

3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 

 The third verse God promises an unshakable future. This analogy shows God’s intentions to give an eternal foundation for our faithful adherence to His truth. This endless delivery of spiritual nourishment removes the sinful roots of Adam and Eve.

Our Father’s promises prosperity.

Since the Lord provides us with the means to meet our physical demands (food, water, and shelter) and sin separates us from His grace. Then our need is spiritual. Here God wants to give us an abundance of His Spirit. And with His guidance, everything needed to live in the Spirit of Truth blossoms.

So, it’s not by accident we find God improving our spiritual lives. Remember real prosperity is losing our individuality and living in Christ!

The Eternal Penalty For Disobedience

4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 

Make no mistake. Our Father is straightforward in how He handles unfaithfulness. A point often overlooked is the penalty for turning away from Him. It’s a serious offense with deadly consequences.

Under those circumstances, no one wants to face His power in handing out the sentence of condemnation.

But through Christ, He shows mercy.

God’s Eternal Protection

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

God never abandons those who pick up their cross and walk in Christ. He makes this known by protecting His chosen ones.

I know what is to embrace God’s shield. In the spring of 1985, He revealed Himself. Before this time, I never experienced His presence. He allowed me the privilege to connect with Him. But He knew I wasn’t ready to concede to His will, and in 1991 He released me back into darkness.

It took twenty years before He rescued me again. Even though I lived in disobedience; His hand kept me from many evil encounters. Living outside His kingdom wasn’t pleasant, but He made sure I didn’t sink deeper into self-destruction.

I’m forever grateful He pulled back from the gates of wickedness.

Given these points, God’s eternal plan is a blessing full of grace. Our Father wants to give us His blessings and will do so for as long as we stay loyal to His word!

Eternal Life Through Christ

 

Remember Christ Is Available

Do you ever struggle with the small everyday challenges? Try to solve problems alone without reaching out for help. Forget to remember Christ is available.

I do.

Often, willpower to overcome a shortcoming causes troubles.

The big life events are easy to accept but the little day-to-day circumstances life’s terms throw out is a challenge to respond in a spiritual reaction.

For example, when impatience emerges, frustration ensues. Here controlling the outcome becomes useless. And this makes finding peace unreachable.

Likewise, anger oozes out my inner-being, especially in bumper to bumper traffic. I don’t reach the point of rage, but anger’s effect is subtle and makes me lash out in unacceptable behavior.

This self-centered tendency spills over into my family, work and social outlets. I can’t escape it, and the more one relies on self, the deeper I fall into the hole of despair.

Forgetting other people don’t react to life as me is easy.

As a Christian, I must remember, Christ is my equilibrium when the scales of temptation tip me into sin. God is my spiritual balance in times of injustice. Nothing equalizes life’s terms than for me to anchor my life in Christ. And as the result of reliance on Jesus, my ability to live peaceful in times of distress increases.

 

 

God never fails me. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is always available to guide me in living a saved life. When I struggle, it’s a reminder for me to ask Christ for the solutions. Once I take action with Jesus and continue to rely on His perfect vision, then I’m able to see the path of rightful living.

The fruitlessness from living a unsaved life is familiar. Before God rescued me from the black hole of agnosticism, my existence was  drugs, alcohol, and egoism. My problems with life never got better, in fact, they got worse. This led me to the road of suicide, but the Lord had other plans and spared me from self-destruction.

My past helps me to remember the outcome of living apart from God. It is a useless and lonely existence. But His grace and mercy coupled with Christ’s redemption show me a future with eternal consequences. I’m grateful for the Lord’s impact on my life.

I hope your experience with God is profound and life-changing awareness.

Discovering God’s Truth Promises and Timing

It’s easy understanding God’s perfect honesty. The knowledge necessary in grasping this truth takes a personal commitment to learning His word. With this in mind devotion is the key to discovering God’s truth, promises and timing.

And when we engage in the Bible without reservations, then God unleashes His wisdom.

Infinite Truth

God and truth are inseparable. This revelation showed up in His creations and attested through scripture. When the Lord inspired Moses to write His word it explained the reason heaven and earth exist (Genesis 1). It’s here where God is first exposed as truth putting to rest man’s attempts to disprove Him.

So gaining insight to God’s unremitting truth, one must engulf themselves in His word. And as the result of living in God’s way, we see He can’t lie because His Spirit penetrates our inner-selves with a truth unlike any other.

In both the Old and New Testaments God’s integrity never changes. The Lord’s flawlessness to back up His Word in action smashes disbelief. In fact, every recorded Scripture captures His faithfulness in carrying out His promises. God made knowing Him a relationship full of hope and filled with love.

 

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For example, Noah built the Ark under God’s command (Genesis 6:13-22) and received ridicule for trusting the Lord’s plan. But when the flood came God’s truth became a reality (Genesis 7:1-24). Likewise, Moses took on Pharaoh to free the Israelites, and the Egyptians discovered God’s almighty power (Exodus 6-14). Many other Old Testaments verses support the authenticity of God.

In the New Testament God uses the same demonstrations to heighten His unwavering nature. When Christ became human, it validated the Prophets message that God keeps His promise to send a Messiah. And the Gospels catches God’s consistent righteousness.

Even though the Lord made Jesus His new Covenant with humanity, He didn’t deviate from His truth. As a matter-of-fact Christ proves, God is the one real God. Because once He unleashes Jesus in one’s life, the Holy Spirit permeates the mind body and soul.

The Spirit of Truth

It’s the Holy Spirit that unveils God’s inability to lie. Once the Lord saves a soul, then Jesus takes over and sanctifies the heart. God’s Living Spirit of truth (John 14:17) illuminates our awareness of His existence. And from God’s anointment of the Holy Trinity, the transformation into salvation illustrates the validity of God’s purity.

Our Father’s greatest pledge is eternal life. He assures us if we accept Christ as the way to heaven (John 14:1-6) our inheritance in His kingdom stays secured (1 Peter 1:3-5). Each of us understands this reality because Christ takes away temptation and supplies courage to walk away from sin. This proof of God’s powerful promise revolutionizes our lives giving us the strength to live righteous in a broken world.

My Experience with God’s Truth

In my relationship with God, everything He promised came true. Before He saved me my life wasn’t holy. Agnosticism ruled my mind. I centered my life in skepticism unwilling to accept God. And when my disbelief led to self-destruction, He rescued me.

Today I know the way of faith. It’s important to realize trusting Christ dismantles my doubt and takes away the need to live apart from God. The biggest dividend I’ve received knows God’s graceful Spirit. When I turn to Christ my ability to overcome problems increases and gives a most compelling evidence to God’s trustworthiness. For as long as I stay willing to put Him above everything God never leaves me without a solution.

Waiting on God’s Timing

One of the toughest challenges in living a Christian life is waiting for God’s response. A point often overlooked is comprehending Christ’s timing. Since the Lord knows our needs and never fails to give, it’s crucial to stay active in our devotion. This means we need to continue praying and meditating on His truth. No matter how troublesome our lives become, God is our greatest strength in moving past our problems.

 

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The first thing to remember God doesn’t abandon us. The key in knowing the spiritual actions Christ directs us to take is spending private time with God. And the more we absorb His truth our ability to recognize His commands emerges.

It’s no accident God allows us to gravitate to His presence. Since our Father is Spirit, then the measuring stick in knowing how to go ahead becomes engaged in the spiritual realm. Nothing matches God’s intuitive commands and once acted upon the wisdom to fathom what to do becomes noticeable.

Sometimes God stays silent. This doesn’t mean He is not listening. Here we need to examine ourselves and make sure our approach is faith-centered. Scripture reminds when asking God for wisdom is trusting Him (James 1:5-8). Humility is a crucial principle in receiving God’s answers.

Other useful tools in waiting are patience and perseverance. Patience is a willingness to surrender our will over to God’s regardless the outcome. Perseverance is faith in action. Each of them alone brings a positive result but when they intertwined an unshakable foundation in discovering God’s answers transpires.

Given these points, we can agree God is the truth, honor His word and never fails to give the spiritual food necessary to live according to His purpose. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives an excellent example of the efforts favorable to God. No matter if you are new Christian or a seasoned veteran trusting Christ gets God’s attention!

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Nothing matches the spiritual freedom forgiveness brings to the soul. In fact, it captures God’s attention because it extends His mercy. It frees one’s bondage of self and purifies the heart.

A most compelling evidence to the Holy Spirit existence is one’s ability to let go of wrongdoings from others. This act of holiness shows the inner-changes Christ makes to a believers spirit. As a result from forgiveness, the believer’s bond with God strengthens and a spiritual love for others increases.

Forgiving others takes courage beyond the flesh. The strength needed to achieve this Christian action must come from Christ. And once a person is in the Power of Jesus the most troublesome wrongs caused by others become forgivable.

When we forgive others it frees the mind, heart, and soul from transgression. This separation from sin is not by accident but a result of Christ’s love. It’s important to realize Jesus is God’s way and freedom from a hardened heart comes from a life centered in Christ.

When I’m unwilling to forgive my mind becomes entangled with sinful thoughts. I’m unable to find peace of mind because pride controls my thoughts on the person who wronged me. This causes problems because I’m taken away from Christ and leaves me in the midst of sin.

Another trouble of not forgiving is the effect it has on my heart. Here it stirs up resentments leading to bitterness and cuts me off from God’s mercy. This spiritual turmoil is a stumbling block placing me at odds with Christ. And the longer I hold onto to this wrongfulness the more distant I become from God’s Light.

And when my mind and heart stay unforgiving, it disturbs my soul. It’s important to realize when my spirit becomes unstable spiritual freedom becomes nonexistent. Here God uses my conscience as a reminder to forgive. This makes it imperative for me to move past my self-righteousness and into God’s will.

The good news is reliance on Christ gives me the daily bread to forgive. Once I’m willing to ask Christ for help, then I discover nothing is impossible including those who I don’t want to forgive. And when I let go the Holy Spirit brings me a freedom so profound it changes my heart.

As shown above, forgiveness is favorable in God’s eyes. It unveils freedom unlike any other. This liberty manifested in love by the grace of God and is an example of His mercy.

When you struggle to forgive, stop ask Christ for strength and stay patient for His response. And once He shows the answer then act upon the command and discover the freedom of forgiveness!

How do you forgive your worst enemy?

Sin Crushes the Bond with God

No matter my outlook on sin it crushes my bond with the Father. It causes me to turn away from God and places me in the web of deception. And without God’s grace and Christ’s intercession, it will condemn me eternally.

Many people try to dance around the truth of sin. They want to avoid its effects on life. Yet escaping the reality of transgression is impossible. This never goes away. And as Christians, God gives us a choice to live in Christ or suffer the unremitting consequences caused by sin.

On the negative side, inequity destroys the goodness of God. In the Book of Genesis, the Father’s creations were exceptional. Everything the Lord made went beyond the ordinary.

But the moment Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation humanity entered the darkness of evil.

On my own, I can’t overcome my powerlessness over sin. Every time I use my personal resources it gets worse. But when I stop and humble myself to Christ the strength needed to move away from its paralyzing grip emerges. In fact, once I confess and repent the courage to prevail over temptation releases me from my disobedience.

On the positive side the day God sheds His grace on us everything changes. This includes sin. When the Lord saves a soul, He places it in Christ and sin loses its power. And from this point forward the Lord smashes the devil ability to turn us away from Him.

Before the Father pulled me out of the spiritual darkness sin dominated my heart. I lived according to my will with no concern the effects it had on my eternal destination or how it caused harm to others. And the intense suffering sin caused gives a most compelling evidence to sinfulness existence.

The greatest promise God gives to pardon trespasses is His Son, Jesus Christ. For this purpose, the Lord sacrificed his Son, rose Him from the dead and ascended Him to heaven. And once God’s Spirit enters a person’s heart it connects the human soul with the Holy Trinity.

Sin never sleeps. God knows this and through Christ, He gives us the Christian tools to win the battle over evilness. A point often overlooked is salvation came at a price (Christ’s death) and is not without responsibility. So, I must pick up my cross regardless of its burden and continue living for Christ.

The spiritual warfare transgressions create separates us from God. When inequity enters my life, God is watching the actions I take to walk away from its enticing promise. If I become unwilling to confess then my spirit suffers. But the moment I acknowledge my infraction and turn to Christ without reservation God cleanses my soul.

It’s not pleasant looking at our sinful nature. Yet it answers the question of why we have trouble with obeying God’s word. For this reason, He gives us Christ.

Remember our Father never abandons us and gives the strength to live holy in a hostile world. Abide in Jesus and discover God’s faithfulness!