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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

His Actions Made His Faith Complete

What do I truly believe?

Am I living out my faith?

Where do I place my faith?

It has been a week since I shared with my church a sermon titled, "An Unbecoming Reflection."  A look at Judas Iscariot and how I see myself at times when I look at his life with Jesus.

How Judas Iscariot never came to the point where Jesus was more than a teacher or a good man who had the potential to do great things, if only he would.  Judas Iscariot saw the miracles, he was a part of the ministry team, he heard the parables straight from the mouth of Jesus...but he failed to know Him. He couldn't truly recognize who Jesus is.  His heart was so full of himself and his desires that it hadn't room for the Savior.

We don't like to focus on Judas Iscariot in our studies or sermons.  It's not a feel good message or time.  It makes us look at our own hearts and motives.  My heart breaks every time I read how this man who walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, laughed and fellowshipped with Jesus on earth and then turned around and gave Him up to His enemies...in my eyes, always a monster, a traitor, a horrible man.  I never even felt bad about him killing himself.  You just can't come back from that.  How can you even ask for forgiveness when you have turned your back on Jesus.  Strong words from someone who should be full of compassion for the unworthy since she too is in that category.

How many times have I failed to truly see who Jesus is?

How many times have I looked at Jesus as a means to get me what I want?

How many times have I been willing to put my relationship with Him aside in order to gain a worldly pleasure?

Hard questions with horrible answers.

Yesterday, I was reading James 2.  It's about living out our faith.  What we believe will be seen by how we live.

19 You say you have faith, 
for you believe that there is one God.
[f] Good for you! 
Even the demons believe this, 
and they tremble in terror. 
20 How foolish! 
Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor 
Abraham was shown to be right with God 
by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 
22 You see, 
his faith and his actions worked together. 
His actions made his faith complete. 
23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: 
“Abraham believed God, 
and God counted him as righteous 
because of his faith.”[g] 
He was even called the friend of God.[h] 
24 So you see, 
we are shown to be right with God 
by what we do, 
not by faith alone.
-James 2:19-24 NLT

I love how James says, in verse 22 "his faith and his actions worked together.  His actions made his faith complete."  I love that verse.  I wrote it down and wrote it down again.  

We don't have to be a Judas Iscariot.  We can be an Abraham, a friend of God (vs. 23).  

Judas Iscariot had a chance for almost 3 years, every single day that he walked with Jesus.  He was being taught by the Savior Himself.  It makes my mind spin to think that he chose not to believe and not to see who Jesus truly is.  Just like us, we have the Scriptures, we have everything, yet we can choose not to believe, just like Judas.  It will lead to our death, just like Judas Iscariot.  It's our choice.

I choose Jesus.  I choose life.  I choose to live out my faith, every day.  I want to be a friend of God. We can say all day that we believe, but what we do will be the proof of what we truly believe.  

So, I have to ask myself the first three questions in this post all the time.  

What do I truly believe?

Am I living out my faith?

Where do I place my faith?

His actions made his faith complete.

I pray that my actions, how I give, love and live, reflect my faith.  Let my actions make my faith complete.  Even when it is hard, Lord, give me the strength to do your will.  

I pray you have a blessed day.

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