So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Our family has been doing a daily advent study. The goal of this book is to slow the roll to Christmas. To enjoy it fully and take time daily to focus on different aspects of Christ's arrival. Today my heart was drawn to Mary. I am so moved by her faith. She is a great example of the above scripture. To James' point, you saw her faith by what she did. When Christ entered the picture, Mary was a teenage girl engaged to Joseph. In her culture, if she was found pregnant before their marriage, she could have been stoned to death. Still, when Gabriel approached her, (Luke 1) though initially frightened by his presence, she plainly pointed out the perceived problem with the plan. Gabriel explained how this child would come to be and she boldly and faithfully said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” and then he left. We hear no explanations from Gabriel on how to handle Joseph, her parents, angry mobs... We do hear in Luke 1:39, that she hurried off to Zechariah and Elizabeth's home. Gabriel had told her Elizabeth had conceived in her old age. Maybe she was hoping for confirmation when she saw Elizabeth? We know Mary was introspective from the scripture in Luke 2:19. We see she stored up things inside and pondered them. Her mind must have been racing. Either way what we do know is that she "raced off" and when she got to Elizabeth she sang "Mary's Song." This was a song of praise to God after she received an exuberant welcome from a very pregnant and filled with the Holy Spirit Elizabeth. In the words of Mary's Song you can hear, this is happening, God chose me, He has not forgotten Israel and He has chosen me to be the mother of our long awaited Messiah! There is so much joy, hope and gratitude. Not one but. She stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months. When she returned home Joseph planned to divorce her quietly to protect her, but an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream explaining everything. (Mat 1:18-25) He then took Mary to be his wife. I love the saying God works in mysterious ways. This is so true and the dream is such a great example. Mary's story inspires me first because of her amazing faith. Second, it is such a precious reminder to me to follow Christ. Even when it is hard. Even when it looks like your efforts would be in vain. Following Christ is always right. Trusting The Lord is always right.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Happy birthday Yeshua! The baby who came into this world like no other. Most children are born into this world with people considering what they can do for that baby. With Christ, the world held it's breath in anticipation of what He was going to do for them.That is a lot of weight for such tiny shoulders. When he entered this world it was a cold dark place where men had overwritten God's word in favor of profit. Still happens. Religion was business and business was good. He was to be a pebble in the shoe of organized religion. He didn't upset the apple cart, He tossed it. His birth signaled a new beginning for all of God's people who would receive it. Anyone who is in Christ knows the absolute joy and peace that knowing and loving God brings. Anyone who is in Christ. Peace does not exist standing on the sidelines and cheering on the players. When they win you have no claim to the prize and praise that awaits them for their victory. You need to be on the field. You need to get dirty. Followers of Christ are called to follow in His footsteps. Before He ascended into Heaven He gave final instructions for his disciples/followers. You find His words in Mathew 28:18-20. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." That charge is for all of God's people. I heard a sad statistic today that three out of ten people in the United States identify as having no belief in God. None. Translated, no relationship with God. Further translated, no peace. Christ is the light of this world and we are also charged to be a light. Philippians 2. Mat 5:14-15. So, go tell it on the mountain, the beach, on line at the Starbucks, produce people at the supermarket.... Share your life and your faith. One life can make a difference. If you are already doing this, yay!!! Please share below the most effective ways you have found to share your faith. If you are not, though you want to, but don't know where to start...send us an email. I can share some thoughts. I have been blessed with a lot of Christ centered and patient instruction, as has Rob, and either of us would be glad to talk and share what we have learned. Iron sharpens iron. Merry Christmas all!