Thursday, February 2, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 24

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

James 2:14

I can’t get past that question.  Can that faith save him?  Do you have the “faith” to live in heaven, not just with the idea of heaven?  Well, what kind of faith saves?  The salvation of Jesus doesn’t just save me from death, but it saves to for life, for living life right here, right now.  It’s not about appeasing God, Jesus did that, it’s about agreeing with God for the here and now and the then and there.  Faith that saves doesn’t just give me hope, it gives me heaven for the here and now in the here and now  Do I have faith that saves?  Would I offer the faith I have to others?  Would they want it?  What kind of fruit is hanging from my faith?  If my faith is truly in God, there is fruit hanging from my faith because that’s what God does, He makes life fruitful and saves us completely from death.  Praise God!  I want a faith that is fruitful and that saves completely, not just my life but the lives around me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 23

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

James 2:14

Where there is faith, there is fruit. There is always evidence of faith.  Words are cheap; it’s the walk that counts, that is valuable.  Faith without fruit leaves us with fruit that’s without faith.  Faith will leave us with the fruit of heaven, but fake faith will leave us with the fruit of here.  We say things to make people believe.  We need to say things that make God believe.  It’s easy to lie to ourselves and others, but we can’t lie to God.  Just look around!  Jesus said we could judge a tree by its’ fruit. (Luke 6:4)  We live in a world of fake faith where we want people to believe a tale rather than the truth.  That doesn’t work.  That’s not the real stuff.  Faith in God will bear the fruit of God in action, attitude, appearance, and anticipation.  That’s real stuff.  If you’re going to live a lie, be truthful about it, but don’t live a lie, it’s lethal. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 22

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13

Live in love, with love, and by love.  It’s love that fulfills the law and it’s love for God, others, and self that empowered Jesus to fulfill the law.  There’s liberty in love and that’s what the law was trying to tell us.  Remember what James wrote earlier? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. (James 2:8-9).  Laws point out and preserve love.  Good laws point out what is good and right and true because they point to the Almighty law Giver who is always good and right and true.  If we rebel, the law brings disapproval, darkness & death. But, we can’t let the law condemn us; let it convict us of the need for love.    Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 21

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13

The way of God is the way of life and the law of God is the law of life.  The law of God is good, not bad; it is life even though it reveals death.  If we would live by the law of God, we would live in the life of God, but we can’t.  We can’t but He did and when He does live in our hearts we can.  Never let the law of God become a bad thing, those who let the law of God guide them, find life & liberty.  What keeps us bound and slaves is guilt.  The key to living out the law of God and living in the life of God is “mercy”.  Without “mercy” no one makes it out alive.  To fulfill the law of God to live in the life of God with the liberty of God is to live in the “mercy” of God.  God always has “mercy” for you & I.  When we live in His “mercy” and with His “mercy”, we share His love and life with others.

Friday, January 27. 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 20

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.             James 2:8-10

Loves creates life, always has, and always will.  Love works!  What doesn’t work is legalized love or anything we do to put limits on love.  We put limits on love when we write laws for love.  When we put laws on love we create conditions for how our love will work and when it will work.  Love wants life, the life of God for every person it runs into along the way.  We get in trouble when we put conditions on love because we’re cautious that there isn’t enough love to go around.  Don’t be afraid.  Living in love is about giving what He has, doing what He wants, and sharing what He says.  It’s about being a steward of God’s love for ourselves and others and that love has no limits.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 19

But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7  Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?                James 2:6-7

It’s funny thing how the sin of selfishness and superiority shows up in our relationships with others.  And if we don’t let God’s word reflect the condition of our spirit, we just accept the nasty as normal.  The truth is that we dishonor people when we disrespect their opportunity to believe in God.  The picture on the outside doesn’t determine the possibilities on the inside.  How we approach others can affect how others approach God.  True religion knows that; bad religion ignores it.  The evidence of our faith can be seen in how we see the face of the one in need.  It’s easy to like people who seem to have everything; they make it easy to believe their lies.  True religion looks past the outside to see the inside, personally and publicly, and looks for the possibilities of God.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 18

Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

James 2:5

We can tell how we live life by how we look at life.  If we make it about our world, we’re going to miss His world.  People who are in need, need Him and look to Him, for Him.  Don’t judge and dismiss those in need, they are at the precipice of possibilities in God.  Never lose sight of your poverty without God.  We don’t look for things we have, but we search for things we need.  We need God and His goodness.  A selfish and superior mindset is a poor man’s coat.  God choose, He didn’t make, the poor of this world to be rich and heirs of His kingdom through faith.  Never lose your hunger for God for yourself or for others.  That hunger will keep you hunting for Him and His possibilities.  Don’t judge those who are hurt, hungry, and hangry, offer them His possibilities in their poverty.  We don’t just need God in our lives, we need God in this life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James

Day 17

For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in  fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

James 2:2-4

You know, it’s amazing what happens when we get the relationship issues corrected in our lives.  Restoring & renewing our relationships will always involve recognizing and repairing our own lives with Jesus’ help.  God once told me that when I sin, I don’t hurt my relationship with Him but I hurt my relationship with myself.  When I sin, He keeps loving & liking me, but I don’t love & like myself.  With that in mind, watch out for the dilemma of distinctions.  The dilemma of distinction happens when we look at and judge others by what we like rather than who He loves.  It’s the sin of selfishness & superiority again.  Bad religion labels and leaves people while true religion loves and leads all people to Jesus.  Yep, good religion takes all people by the hand and helps them find love with a new label for a new life.  If that’s not who we are then something evil is motivating our lives.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James 2

Day 16

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism                    James 2:1

There’s no greater problem to the Christian life than continuing to try to play God.  That’s what personal favoritism is and does.  The problem with stains is that they keep us selfish and superior in our own eyes.  One of the most beautiful things about Jesus is that He came to us, to live with us, and to die for us and He did it all without staining Himself even once.  That’s what you call glorious and beautiful and we can know that same glory if we are willing to let the Scriptures and the Savior deal with the stains of sin that leave us selfish and feeling superior.  There’s no love in a selfish and superior feeling life.   And Jesus made that glorious life our life if we will only request and receive Him and His word into our lives. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Kitchen Table Devotions

James 1

Day 15

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

James 1:27

The world doesn’t have to steal us, it only needs to stain us to sabotage the work of God in our lives.  Keep yourself unstained by the world.  We will find out in chapter two that involves the motives, not just the mind.  Only the Scriptures can reveal the stain and only the Savior can remove it.  Bad religion tolerates stains, good religion tackles it.  Don’t be afraid to let the Scriptures reveal the stains of sin and don’t be afraid to let the Savior remove them, it’s painless. He paid the price for our cleaning; we just need to receive it because we want it.  Want to really live in the power of God, with the passion of God for the pleasure of God?  Deal with even the stains of sin by listening to and living by the voice of God.