Friday, May 07, 2010
Living Versus Preaching
Lord: Steep me in Your Word and will, not just for the sake of my relationship with You, but also for the sake of those whose lives I touch each day.The devotional itself closes, as Mark quotes in his headline:
A good example has more value than good advice.The apostle Paul says:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (I Cor 13:1)And James:
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.Words without action, faith without works, some people call those lies.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:20-26)
We often talk about how we are still sinners - it's true, we cannot live the perfect sinless life. No, the works we are called to are different works indeed - they are works of confession, humility - works that seek perfection while acknowledging imperfection.
That's what really gets to me, we seek to model perfection - not the idea, we model the road to perfection.