I hear and see many people using certain popular scriptures and I wonder if I’m the only person that never really understood what some of them actually meant. Lately, as I continue to grow and study the Bible, I’m finding that there’s a double, much deeper meaning behind many beloved scriptures.
Last night, a friend and I were talking about the Bible and how we found certain scriptures and parables that Jesus taught to mirror or pertain to our lives. During our conversation, my friend quoted James 2:26 which says,
“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”
(James 2:26 NLT)
Now I’ve read that scripture many times before and for the longest time, I thought it meant believe in God and work well at whatever physical job you are doing and then He will bless you. However, it wasn’t until our conversation last night when I suddenly had a spark of revelation: faith without works is dead. Now, wait a minute, I know what you’re saying, “Hey, all you did was just repeat and paraphrase the same scripture.” While this is true my friend, if you’d be so kind as to allow me to break down my revelation of what I found, you too will see that this scripture actually goes much deeper than what meets the eye.
Faith without works is dead doesn’t mean that you have to physically go to work in order for God to bless you. God blesses those who diligently seek Him. Faith without works means:
- Believing in your heart who Christ is and start reading the scriptures,
- Believing in your heart the power of God and start changing how you act / interact with people,
- Believing in your heart that God is real and begin cultivating your relationship with Him,
- Believing in your heart that your situation can change and pray every single day,
- Believing in your heart that God is Love and start spreading the Good News everywhere you go,
- Believing in your heart that all things will work out for your good and start writing out and working on your plan for a better future,
- Believing in your heart that God is a healer and start working on your physical health (exercise, take your medications, go to the doctors, etc.)
- Believing in your heart that if you sow goodness, kindness, compassion and love, that these things will return back to you double what you gave.
- Etc. for the list goes on and on…
“How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”
(James 2:20 NLT)
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
Yes I humbly admit that I was a bit shallow and vague in my understanding of that scripture before but now I see the light. Thank God for my friend and I having that fellowship moment for it helped open my eyes to the endless possibilities of what it means to sow good works while having faith. So the next time you find yourself using or quoting scriptures to someone, may I suggest giving them more of a context as to what they actually mean. Use the scriptures wisely.
“Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.”
(Mark 4:33 NLT)
Just as Jesus used parables or stories to teach people about the goodness of God, apply them to your life so that a person can really understand the meaning of the Word of God. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who thought that James 2:26 meant to physically go to work at a job.
When speaking of the word, the old scripture still cannily applies here,
““Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
(Matthew 7:12 NLT)
In this instance, teach people how you’d want to learn. Help people understand the word so that they too can start applying God’s word to their lives. Many of us aren’t biblical scholars, but if we take what we know and how we’ve come to understand and identify God, then we can pass it along so that someone else can be saved. If you pay it forward, then the person you sow into can pay it back to the next person and the next person and so on. So, I challenge you today, let’s start a chain reaction in Jesus name!!!
“You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”
(2 Timothy 2:2 NLT)
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @kardinalmelon
Awesome post And! Love your honesty, keep reading and asking God to open your heart and eyes to see what he is wanting to show you. I have had similar experiences in the last 7 months since I quit smoking. The words are jumping off the pages. Loving having the understanding. So I encourage you to keep reading, talking to ya friends and unpacking with questions and journal if you don’t already.
Also the Bible gateway app is really good cause you can listen to any book of the bible, I have found the story comes alive. Maybe you could benefit?
Thanks for sharing this post, I loved your break down of the faith without works scripture. Are you on facebook?
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Thanks, it’s through the power of God and the Holy Spirit that I am able to be so transparent. The Bible app I use has audiobooks too but I prefer to read it silently by myself. No I’m not on Facebook anymore, just Instagram.