Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Faith Without Works

As I told it in A Watery Grave, I had to start with a new Bible some time back.  The Book that is gone from me had so many things that seemed to matter so much:  notes from loved ones, dried flowers, pictures.  But what I might have missed the most, at least for a while, were my highlights and personal notes about the Scriptures themselves.

It was so much easier when I could just flip quickly through my pages and come to precisely the verse I wanted ~ because I'd already done the work.  The highlighting, the underlining work, that is.

But this Book is organic and its work is never done.  It lives and breathes and has the power to speak something different to us each time we read it.  "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

As I have been reading the book of James again, it's difficult to imagine that I hadn't highlighted all of James in my previous Bible.  However, while it's all so penetrating and I could as easily highlight the whole thing, particularly as I've come to the "faith without works" passage, there are but two words that have pierced me this morning.

Don't ya know?

That's how I've known the verse all these years...'Don't ya know that faith without works is dead?' (my paraphrase.)

But that's not what it says.

That's certainly not what it said to me this morning.

James 2:20 says,
"But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (NKJ)

Don't ya want to know?
Don't ya want to seek until you find it?
Don't ya want to work until you grasp it?

Obviously, I could have written an entire treatise about the message and meaning of "faith without works," but, before I can understand any of what He's saying to me, I have to want to understand. 

Thank You, Lord, for speaking to me this morning.  I pray that I will always want to hear You.  And I pray the same for any who read these words.


Michelle said...

I want to be COVERED!

-- And just an FYI, you're reading James and it's the Beth Moore study we're doing at WOW in the spring. Maybe you can come join our group in the morning and I could go serve with you in the afternoon!

Robert said...

Sweetly and eloquently put, Amanda. :) The Bible is indeed a dynamic, living entity.

I was just thinking this past Sunday morning during sermon, "I really should get another "Sunday" bible -- this thing is worn out." But my second thought? "What about YEARS of notes and fading green and yellow highlights? Clippings? Photos? A candy wrapper from Hoyt (who has gone on to his great reward), neatly flattened and tucked into Ephesians 5? No way can I do all this over!"

As is usually the case, you raise beautiful points. Thank you. :)

Amanda Parish said...

oh, that would be so awesome!!!

Amanda Parish said...

and thank you, Bob, as always, for your encouragement. <3