Daily Devotional – Tuesday May 15, 2007
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.
“Faith without works is dead”. This is one of the many truths that I have learned in my lifetime. James provides this truth in today’s reading with great clarity and power. Paul emphasized that belief in Jesus was enough to ensure salvation and said that following The Law was not the way. In today’s letter, James goes further. He defines religion more in terms of a person’s ethical behavior. A person’s behavior is more important than a person’s intellectual beliefs. James challenges the “feel good” Christian, who stays at home, reads his bible, prays and does nothing else. Feeling good about oneself and being comfortable in a relationship with God isn’t enough according to James.
I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day. I did. I went to Canada last weekend to visit my 92 year old mother and 93 year old father. It was a long way to go for a less than 24 hr visit but it was worth it. I have some relationship repair work to do with my parents and this trip was an important part of that. I have found in my life that good intentions that go unfulfilled lead to frustration and guilt. Jesus has set a standard for my expectations of myself. I don’t always succeed in meeting these expectations but real failure is not trying. We need to be always aware of God’s to-do list for us.
James is so right to tell us to be quick to hear and slow to speak and slow to anger. It has taken me my lifetime to learn this simple lesson. I thank God that he has given me this time with my parents because I know I am running out of time. This last weekend was made available by God’s grace and I thank him for that. It was time of listening and learning. It was wonderful to listen to my parents relive those times and events that were important to them. It reminded me that life is a series of experiences. The ones that are the most memorable are those where you have enriched the life of another. I pray that God will give me many more years and the energy to do just that.
God bless us this day and every day and may God’s to-do list guide us today!
John Dickie, May 15, 2007