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Faith That Blesses and Heals

(James 1:22-27; 2:8,9,14-17; 5:13-16)

Lesson 2 -- fourth quarter 2003
September 14, 2003

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications

Do and be blessed

I suppose that in all of history, God's people have never had the super abundance of Bible study resources that we have in our generation. It seems it surely has never been easier to accumulate knowledge from and about the Bible. I think that is wonderful. In this we have been tremendously blessed. And in this we have been made immeasurably responsible.

We must guard our hearts lest we allow knowledge to become its own end. In the Christian faith, we do not learn just for the sake of learning, nor do we study merely for the sake of knowing more. No! The driving force and the ultimate goal of Christian study and learning is knowing Christ and living His life. Listen again to James 1:22 -- "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Those who complacently content themselves with mere knowledge have deceived themselves.

God gives knowledge and enlightenment to His people so that we might put to the practice what we hear and learn. Knowledge and understanding are not the end. They are the beginning. Remember always that "the doer of the work...shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:25). While knowledge imparts its own satisfaction and blessing, living that knowledge brings far greater blessing: the approval and acceptance of God. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

Have you looked recently?

Mirrors -- how handy they are! A single mirror could show me the condition of my face. Two mirrors properly employed together could show me the status of the back side of my head -- the cranial back forty, if you will. But no matter how handy a mirror may be, if I don't look in it, it is utterly useless to me.

God's Word is a mirror for our soul and spirit. But unlike a physical mirror, this divine mirror will do more than show us ourselves as we presently are. It will also show us what we ought to be and what we could become. Imagine that! If we say natural mirrors are handy, how would we describe this kind of spiritual mirror?!

God's Word bears another similarity to the mirror on the wall: If I don't look into it, it will do me no good. And yet another similarity: If I don't act on what I've seen, it will do me no good.

My friend, how recently have you looked into that "perfect law of liberty" with the intent of continuing faithfully in its precepts, striving to be "a doer of the work" (James 1:25)?

Profitable faith

The Christian faith reveals itself in the speech, empathy, purity, love, justice, and generosity of those who practice it (James 1:26,27; 2:8,9,14-17). In other words, profitable faith works; otherwise, it is dead faith.

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