FOR TUESDAY *TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: James 2:14-26
“Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith. Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you.” (James 2:14; The Voice)
Many think that James’ message about the importance of works contradicts other parts of the Bible. Does our salvation come from our works as James insinuates or does it come not from our works but from faith alone as Paul proclaims? Which is it? How can we reconcile these two messages? By looking closely at the context we see the Paul and James were dealing with two different issues – Paul is describing the root of salvation and James writes of the fruit of salvation.
Paul is correct, our salvation is initiated solely by the grace of God. We are saved solely by God’s grace received through faith, not by observing all the laws of Moses. Yet, James is also correct in saying that saving faith is a faith that works, that bears the fruit of God’s grace in our lives. Like a glove without a hand or a hat without a head, faith without works is useless. I might have in my possession a guitar, but unless learn to play it to make some music just having it is pretty much useless.
PRAYER: Gracious God, may the faith You have given me find a way to bear fruit that others may experience anew Your love today. Amen.
*The Scripture Reading for each day is selected from the Revised Common Daily Lectionary used in A Disciple’s Journal – 2014 by Steven W. Manskar]