Lesson Fifteen | Devotion #5: James
Max Sinclair | Children’s Director
I am the oldest of two children in my family. My sister graduated from Taylor University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and she is planning on going to Trinity College in Ireland for the fall of 2017 to receive her Masters in Philosophy with a specialization in peace making. To say the least, I am very proud of her, but at the same time, I am jealous of what she has achieved. I am 23 and just skated by in high school. By the grace of God, I was accepted and attended Liberty University to study political science, but I was not welcomed back. I then joined the Navy where I fixed aircraft and went on many deployments and detachments. I do not have a degree, I do not have a fancy title (besides “the Intern”), and I do not feel as proud of what I have done as I probably should. I can only imagine what James, the half-brother of Jesus felt. His brother was perfect, never sinned. He became a teacher and a preacher who went forth to proclaim the Gospel and died for the sins of the world. James was His brother. Even on the cross, Jesus looks to John and tells John, not James, to take care of His mother, Mary. So when I was asked to write these devotions on world changers in the Bible, I can only thank and praise God for this opportunity.
James in his letter to the twelve tribes of Israel wrote about faith, and how faith is defined by what we do. Today, and back then, this idea of being justified by faith and not through works is somewhat controversial. James knew that faith in Christ and what he had done is how one is saved, but to have a real God act and move in our real lives we need to work. In James Chapter 2, the infamous verse 17 says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James comes to us with a simple idea, the idea that through our works our faith should be known. I encourage you to read James 2:14-26 to see the whole passage where James defends and promotes this idea.
Like Jesus, we are to be seen and act upon our faith. Who will be benefitted if we hide our faith? Like the light hidden under the bushel, or the light house on the shore with its light off during a storm, we would be worthless. We hurt our relationship with Him and with others. Throughout our lives, we will look at others and see what they are doing and feel discouraged. Do not let the lives of others dictate how we are to love Him and affect our doing the work of Christ.