James teaches us in James
chapter two that
"Faith without works is dead."
That scripture is found
at the bottom of the page.
If you have ever
struggled with understanding those words,
this engaging Bible devotion is written for you.
~ ~ ~ ~
This fictional story's charm and unique characters
will blend together
to entertain you
leave you pondering
about the many implications of the moral of this story.
“Kids! Be quiet! I can’t think!” Marilyn yelled to her two young children.
Marilyn had been on edge for days. Her father was in serious condition in Grant Memorial Hospital.
She picked up her sweater and her keys and her purse. “Be good for your Daddy!”
“Mommy, Mommy, tell Daddy Luke I love him!” shouted little Lisa.
“Tell him I do too!” added little Timmy.
As Marilyn headed out to the car, tears began to run down her face. “Oh, Daddy! You have caused me so much embarrassment all my life, but I love you so! Oh, please try to act halfway normal when I visit!"
"God, please God, keep my eccentric dad from being so weird today. I’m so worn out!”
As Marilyn entered the hospital room, her mood sank even lower.
She heard her dad arguing with a nurse about the banking industry.
How in the world did they get on that subject? Marilyn always hated it when her dad got on his soapbox about banks. Anytime someone brought up the subject, he always proudly proclaimed that he would never use a bank. He always ended the conversation with the words, “Never forget the lessons of the Crash!” Oh, it made him look so weird, out of step, and down right crazy.
“Never forget the lessons of the Crash!” exclaimed the pale man almost hidden beneath the jungle of tubes.
The nurse gave a look that clearly communicated, “He’s a nut!” She then turned and quickly collected her supplies and scurried out the door.
“Hi, May Bean!”
“Oh, Daddy, don’t use that pet name. Please Daddy. . . I’m an adult now.”
The old man’s voice suddenly grew serious. “Honey, I’ve got to tell you something. You see, if I don’t make it through this, well, I’ve got to let you know . . .”
Marilyn interrupted him and said, “No, Daddy. Don’t talk like that!”
“I’ve got to tell you. Now you listen.” Then he lowered his voice. His eyes darted around the room. “All my money,” he whispered, “is buried in front of the big tree in the back yard. It’s. . .”
He paused. His voice was now barely audible. “It’s over two hundred thousand dollars, and it’s yours.”
Marilyn’s eyes grew bigger and bigger. “I never knew you had that kind of . . .”
“Sh! Someone might hear!” he cautioned. Then he continued, “Now the house is willed to you. It’s all yours. If I die. . .”
“Oh, Daddy, please!”
“O.K. May Bean. Come give Daddy a hug before they come to get me and give me another one of those silly tests. Now don’t you forget to trust your papa!”
One month later
Marilyn’s husband Frank was fuming and fussing. “Why couldn’t you have thrown some of this old junk away? I told you I wanted us to get rid of a lot of this stuff before we moved into your dad’s house.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” Marilyn knew that her father’s death and the strain of moving from their apartment into her dad’s house would be tough on her, but she never realized how much Frank loved her father. Frank did not know how to express his grief in any way other than to bark at her.
She had been through this before when her mother had died. But back then, she had resented the fact that it was her mother and yet she had to put up with Frank’s volatile behavior.
It took her several years to make peace with the anger she felt about dealing with Frank's explosive emotions while simultaneously dealing with her own emotional pain. Now however, it was a comfort to realize that except for times of grief, Frank was a great husband.
Eight months later
Frank was a salesman, and sales had not been going well the last few months. Every paycheck contained less money than the previous one. Their stack of unpaid bills kept getting higher. Several times they sat down together and made a new budget. Each time they had planned to carefully stick to the budget. However, the car repairs, the new roof, and the doctor bills just would not cooperate.
When little Timmy had to go to the emergency room after a playground accident, Marilyn thought things just could not get worse. But . . .
Frank’s ego was already almost shattered when the bombshell hit – Frank was laid off from work. Within a week, Frank and Marilyn had a For Sale sign in the middle of their front yard.
“God has deserted us.” Frank said matter-of-factly.
Marilyn sadly nodded.
Copyright © 2000 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Pondering Marilyn's Mistake
Marilyn told her father that she trusted his words, but her actions show she did not.
If Marilyn had believed in her father's words, she would have found a shovel and started digging.
Christians often say that they believe God's words, yet their actions reveal what they really believe.
When we truly believe what God says, we will act like it.
You do not truly have faith if you do not do works based
on your faith.
Works do not save you,
but a lack of works
does reveal your inner condition to you.
You cannot help but have
if you are following Jesus.
If you are following Jesus,
you will begin to do what he would do -
you will display godly works.
Also, you will begin to stop doing things
that Christ wouldn't do.
Your life WILL change.
If you get saved and none of your friends notices,
I submit that you didn't give your whole life to Christ.
It is a process to become more like Christ.
The process is lifelong; nevertheless, we should continually be seeing the good fruit of becoming more like Jesus.
We WILL see changes in ourselves
because we are growing more like Christ.
God's love for us is not based on our behavior.
But we must remember that it is our growing love and devotion for Jesus that shows us that we love him.
It shows us our "heart condition."
It shows us whether we are committed and following Christ
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word."
John 14:24 NKJV
If your life does not display the good works that naturally flow from a healthy relationship with Jesus, then there is cause for concern.
"And how can we be sure that we belong to him?
By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to
do what he wants us to?"
1 John 2:3 TLB
If you have never given your life to Jesus or if you are not sure,
Please visit our Salvation Prayer Page.
If you are Saved, but having some major struggles with obeying God, one thing that will help is to allow yourself to grow in your love for God.
If you will allow yourself to grow in your love for God and his laws, you will begin to want to do the will of God. If you are not growing in this area, you will be struggling with opposition to the Lord and his word.
We also suggest praying spiritual warfare prayers.
Prayer for the "Faith Without Works" Page
You possess all knowledge. You know all things.
You gave me your Word to help me to grow to be more like Jesus.
Today I want to rededicate myself to you.
I realize that even though I say that I believe your words, I don't always act like I do.
Father, help me to grow my faith. Help me to develop deeper faith in your words. I want to trust you more. I want to follow you more closely.
Copyright © 2013 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
Faith Without Works
Sometimes there is confusion in the church about the relationship between faith and works.
We frequently hear scripture quoted from the book of James chapter two verse twenty that says,
"Faith without works is dead."
Yet most of us still have not come to a clear understanding of what those words mean.
Faith without Works Scripture:
Thus also faith by itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say,
'You have faith, and I have works.'
Show me your faith without your works,
and I will show you
my faith by my works.
You believe that there is one God,
You do well.
Even the demons believe - and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man,
that faith without works is dead?"
We at Inspirational-Prayers pray that this devotion
has shed light for you on the
"Faith without Works is dead" concept.
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