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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 30, 2003

     Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
     But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God - the free life! - even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
     Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

James 1:22-27 (Message*)

What is faith? The central point of the book of James, well illustrated in this passage, is that faith does not mean just intellectual assent but is something that transforms us so that we live differently. Sounding religious is pointless in itself. We must live what we profess to believe.

We are deceived if we think we are truly Christian by going to church each week and sounding pious. If our faith doesn't impel us to act on it, it is not real. If we truly have faith, we will delight in reaching out to the poor and needy. We will show Christ's compassion through our concrete actions as His followers, and the integrity of our lives.

Dear Lord, may we not just hear your Word, but do it as well. May we not dishonor you by proclaiming our faith in you, but living superficial lives which do not demonstrate your power to transform. May all of our lives demonstrate your love and power and purity so that others may see what you are like by our example.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2003 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Rockville, MD 20850-6168

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:03:39 EST