What I read today;
James 2; John 20; Jeremiah 20; Psalm 54; 2 Samuel 6; Exodus 39
In James chapter 2, James is laying out two points for each of us to think about.
First, in verses 1-13, he points out that each of us is a sinful human being. We should not look down on others because of their circumstances. Jesus accepts each of us just as we are when we turn to him. We show the Christian faith in a bad light when we look down on those who aren’t dressed the right way, or who act differently than us. When we set up litmus tests that point out how superior a Christian, I am to someone else, then we fail to show the Gospel in its true light. We fail to show that we too are sinful human beings in need of God’s grace and mercy.
Second, in verses 14-26, James then points out that the knowledge of what Jesus has done for us should be visible to those around us. We don’t have to stand on a street corner with a bullhorn spouting out Bible verses, but our faith should be evident. Out of thankfulness to Christ, we should be producing fruits for the kingdom. That could be helping at a bake sale or cleaning the church or in any of several ways that most wouldn’t even see. But our life should show the love of Christ.
James walks a line between too much pride and dead faith. It’s a struggle that every Christian and every Christian church will face. As individuals, we need to understand that Jesus wants us to actively participate in our faith out of love for him. If we keep our motivations centered on showing Christ to the world, then we should never be accused of being a pharisee.
Giving glory to Christ for our faith and then living for him is the answer to both problems James describes.