Bible Reading: James 2.21-26
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2:21-26
Staying onsistent with the idea running through our previous devotions, James maintains that true transformation is evidenced by the good works in our lives. Our works do not give us salvation, only our faith. But, genuine faith produces good works (see James 2:14). Transformation is not the result of more knowledge about God or the Bible (see James 2:19). Demons are not agnostic or atheist - they totally believe in God. There is knowledge but no transformation.
Faith in action is the result of transformation and brings further transformation. Abraham believed/trusted in God and was willing to act on that belief even if it meant sacrificing his son. He wasn’t just a servant of God, but a friend of God. Rahab believed God and acted in faith to protect the messengers of God and although not stated, also became a friend of God. Transformation and friendship are joined.
Jesus isn’t interested in making you look better with more knowledge. He wants to transform you on the inside. I remember what a wise elder said to me one time, “Jesus isn’t interested in making a better looking pecan tree but making a better pecan!” True faith is not looking good on the outside or having the right answers. True faith bears true fruit.
Pray that today you will submit to the Lordship of Christ. As your friend, let Him transform your heart. Let your good works flow from your faith and don’t worry about doing good works to make people think you are faithful. Just glorify God today as you walk in His friendship.
Weekly Memory Verse: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5.17