“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Jesus says that those who love Him will prove it. Simply professing, “I love Jesus,” is not enough because the tongue has a tendency to be fooled. What doesn’t lie is the fruit of our lives. The fruit we produce (our speech and our actions) are a product of what we truly believe.
“This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me.” (Matthew 15:8)
Yet, keeping Jesus’ commandments simply out of duty without love for Him and His will is not enough. This is called trying to work your way into heaven or trying to be saved by works.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1John 4:8)
The true Christian image involves the right motivation (love) AND the right actions (obedience).
A fruit tree that bears no fruit is useless. “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:17). There’s something wrong with a faith that doesn’t produce obedience. Faith is always proven.
Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker once described faith as “believing in something without good reasons to do so.” Sadly, most Christians today agree with him and advocate blind acceptance by saying, “You’ve just got to believe.” Is this shallow principle really the essence of Christianity? Continue reading “True Faith”
by Kayla Barker
They have almost made it. The children of Israel have arrived right outside of the Promised Land secured for them by the Lord. God instructs Moses to send a man from each tribe to spy out the land before them (Numbers 13:1-2). From the account in Deuteronomy 1:22, it appears that this was originally the people’s idea, implying that they didn’t trust God enough to know if the land was safe to enter. They wanted to send men to spy out the land that God had already spied out for them. The people trusted their own ideas more than God’s wisdom, and they were walking by sight instead of by faith in the Lord. But God, in His steadfast love and long-suffering, goes along with Israel’s request.
Continue reading “The Grasshopper Syndrome”
Rivers will always run the course of least resistance as they make their way down into the sea. Going around obstacles, they leave behind their crooked trails that are easily visible from a high point of view. Rivers are beautiful. If one is careful to observe, they also offer warning. Continue reading “Rivers”
One main theme in the book of James is that knowing and doing are two separate acts. It’s important to know the right thing to do, but if you never do it you “miss the mark” (James 4:17). That’s what sin is – missing the intended target of righteous living. Simply put, knowledge of the right thing to do without doing it is worthless, vain, and empty. As Jesus said to the lawyer who answered His question rightly, “Go and do” (Luke 10:37). To never “do” is to prove that you never believed the truth enough to actually do it.
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)