Thursday, December 05, 2013

December 5, 2013 … “I believe” ... Really?!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 339

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of a powerful truth in song, written by Keith Getty and performed by Kristyn Getty, singing By Faith, reminding Christians that it’s our faith which accounts us to salvation and sanctification before God; but it is our works which proclaim that faith. And then to this link  to share in a song sung by the Maranatha Singers, Jesus, I Adore You, which expresses the degree to which our works will express our faith and our love for our Savior.

Highlight Passage #1 - NLT: Romans 4: 3, 13  
3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” [Gen. 15: 6] … 4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. 5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. … 
13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.
 Highlight Passage #2 - NLT: Romans, Chapter 4 ... GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #1: John 3: 16 … … [NLT]  
16 “For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 

Reference Passage #2: James 2: 26 … … [NLT]  
26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

Reference Passage #2: Ephesians 2: 8-10 … Go to this link … [NLT]

My Journal for Today: The photo attached really says all that I want to convey today in this devotional journal entry. Take a look at it, and see what you think it’s saying before going on with what I write today. … [Okay, let me finish this blog entry.]

If you’ve listened to the song links and read the Scripture references I’ve provided above, you probably have all the truth I want to convey this morning as I’ve meditated on Os Hillman’s devotional. His point is that faith is at the heart of our surrender in faith to God’s plan of salvation and sanctification in our lives. But that’s a lot of fancy theological stuff. The bottom line is, whether Old Testament, New Testament, or in our post-modern age, we must BELIEVE in our Messiah as Lord AND Savior before we can be saved and then for us to open ourselves to the transformation which God’s Spirit will bring about in our lives.

But how does that BELIEF manifest itself? It shines forth in how we live our lives, doesn’t it? No, we are not saved by our works; but it is the work of our hands which expresses our belief (depicted in the attached photo and expressed in Ephesians 2: 8-10). And that’s the juxtaposition of the two classic New Testament verses which I’ve copied above. In John 3: 16, Jesus expresses that one must BELIEVE in Him to be saved; but Jesus’ brother, James, in James 2: 24, with his characteristic pragmatism, tells of the reality that our faith is nothing if not seen in our works.

So, here I sit this morning, asking myself, “Is my faith being lived out in a transformed life … with works which shine Christ’s light (see Matt. 5: 16), …and with a life of “living worship” (see Romans 12: 1). My mind rustles with the truth of Prov. 23:7 [NKJV], which reminds me that “… as a man thinks in his heart, so is he?” So, who am I in my life of faith in Christ? If you know me, do you see my belief in Christ shining forth from the work of my hands?

Tough to answer that one, isn’t it? Yes, … and even tougher to live it!!

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I so desire to live a life which reflects my belief in You as my Savior and my LORD. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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