What Good Is It?

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Becoming Like Christ - Day 179 - James 2:14-17 - What Good Is It? - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 179 – James 2:14-17 – What Good Is It? – Growing As Disciples

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17 (NIV)

Real Faith

What do you suppose real faith looks like? Real faith is living and active. Real faith will cause me to follow you to wherever you lead me. Real faith will enable me to do whatever you ask of me. Real faith will not allow me to sit around and do nothing. If I have real faith, I will be living in an intimate relationship with you. I will hear your voice. I will follow your guidance. I will receive your instructions. I will go and do whatever you ask of me. Will faith will cause me to spring into action. That will be very good.

I have some more ideas about real faith. I have more to say about real faith. I’m listening. I have already said that real faith involves living in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, you did say that. If I have real faith, I will not run ahead of you. If I have real faith, I will not lag behind you. Real faith will keep me right beside you. I will not wander away from you to do my own thing. I will not rely on my own strength to try to accomplish your will. Real faith will prevent me from being self-reliant and self-sufficient. I will place all my faith in you. I will rely on all your help. Living my life with and for you will be the goal of my real faith in you. That will be a very good goal.

I have even more ideas about real faith. I would like to hear all your ideas about real faith. Real faith will cause me to live a life of prayer. Real faith will cause me to live a life of worship. As I live a life of real faith, I will continue to give you praise and thanksgiving as I walk through life with you. These things will all be true because you will be with me to help me. You will be near to me. I will be near to you. I will be living in an intimate, moment by moment life of real faith in you. Yes, you will. Then real life will also fill my life with peace and hope and joy as I love, follow and serve you. This is what real faith will look like. Yes, it does. Yes, it will. All my faith is you. Yes, it is. That is very good. 

Lord, you have changed the course of my life. You have given me new thoughts to think, words to speak and deeds to do. It is my pleasure and joy to follow and serve you. I will go where you guide me and do what you ask of me. Bear fruit through my life. Amen

Key Question…  When has the Lord directed you to meet the needs of someone in distress?

Living It Out…  With a heart filled with faith, go and do what the Lord asks you to do for Him.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that the Lord will have you go and help others who are in distress.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group what the lord has given you to go and do for Him.

Prayer To Bless Others…  May your faith be accompanied by action.

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Becoming Like Christ – Day 179 – James 2-14-17 – What Good Is It? – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Claims To Have Faith

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - If - James 2:14-17 - Claims To Have Faith - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – If – James 2:14-17 – Claims To Have Faith – Growing As Disciples

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17 (NIV)

Real Faith

There are two things about which I don’t want you to be confused. What are they? You know that my salvation is a free gift. You know that you cannot earn or in any way merit your salvation. You know that you cannot make yourself acceptable in my sight. My Son came into this world to die and pay for your sins. In faith you turned from your sins and accepted Him into your life as your Savior and Lord. Yes, your Son, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He forgave my sin and cleansed me of all my unrighteous. He made me acceptable in your sight. Yes, He did. This is first of all what I want you to be clear about. I understand. By faith Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord. By faith you are my God and Father. By faith I know that I am filled with your Holy Spirit. What else do you want me to be clear about?

Your faith in me is real and alive and active. Your faith in me will show itself to the world. How will my faith in you show itself to the world? I will be working in and through your life everyday. I will open your eyes to what I want you to see. I will open your ears to what I want you to hear. I will open your heart to what I want you to do. Because of your faith in me you will want to do what I ask of you. Because of your love for me you will want to do what I have given you to do for me. You will want to go where I send you. You will want to do what I ask of you. Does this sound like a hard and burdensome task to you? No, not at all, it will be my pleasure and joy to serve you. I want to be used by you. I want to bear an abundance of fruit for your kingdom. I want to bring glory to your name. Yes, I know that is what you want to do for me. You will bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name, as your faith in me is real and alive and active. This is very clear to me. This is the desire of my heart that is filled with real faith in you. That is very good.

Lord, I want my faith in you to be real and alive and active. I want my faith in you to be demonstrated to the world. Open my eyes to see how you want to use me. Open my heart to do good deeds you have given me to do. Draw others to you through my faith. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

If – James 2-14-17 – Claims To Have Faith – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Mature And Complete Not Lacking Anything

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Faith - James 1:2-4 - Mature And Complete Not Lacking Anything- Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Faith – James 1:2-4 – Mature And Complete Not Lacking Anything- Growing As Disciples

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)  

Finish The Work

Are trials a joy to you? Are you able to see their benefit in your life? Do you know that the testing of your faith will develop perseverance in you? Those are good questions. I often cannot see the benefit of a trial until after I have gone through it. Sometimes it has taken a great length of time and hindsight for me to understand how a trial has benefited my life.

When have you cried out to me in a trial? Do you know that I am with you in and through every trial that you face? You can ask me for wisdom as you go through trials in life. I will not reject you or your requests. It gives me great joy to help you to grow stronger in perseverance and faith as you trust and rely on me. It is foolish to go through trials without my help. Forgive me Lord for the times when I have thought I could “tough it out” and go through trials on my own. My own self-efforts have not been successful. My own efforts have left me bitter, angry and discouraged when I have been in the midst of trials. Yet, somehow you have been able to use even trials and tests that I have failed. Yes, I have.

I do have joy in knowing that you are using all of life including trials and tests to mold and shape my life. It is encouraging to know that you have never or will ever give up on me. No, I will not. I am sure that I have had to go through similar tests and trails more than once because I did not learn or receive their full benefit the first around. Yes, you have.

I want to grow strong in my faith and trust in you. I want to persevere so that I will become the person you want me to be. So, I give you permission to do whatever it takes to make me mature and complete. Help me to rely on you through every trail I face. Give me your wisdom in abundance so that I will have all that I need to persevere and grow strong in my faith in you. It is the desire of my heart for you to finish the work that you started and want to complete in me. I don’t want to lack any good thing that you want to give me or do in and through my life. In every way I want my life to glorify your name and bear fruit in your kingdom.

I know that you will hear and answer this prayer of mine. Yes, I have heard your prayer and you can be certain that I will answer it.

Lord, use whatever it takes to grow my faith in you. I will consider it pure joy when I go through various trials because I know you are developing perseverance in me. I want to be mature and complete and not lacking anything as I follow and serve you.  Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Faith – James 1-2-4 – Mature And Complete Not Lacking Anything – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Faith – Works

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Rhythms - James 2:14-17 - Faith - Works - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Rhythms – James 2:14-17 – Faith – Works – Growing As Disciples

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17 (ESV)

Into Action 

I have blessed your life. I have given you many good things. You have not wanted. You have not lacked. You have had all that you need. Why do you think I have so richly blessed your life? What do you think I want to do with what I have given to you? I’m pretty sure that not all  you have given to me is meant for me. That’s a good thought. That’s a start. Tell me more of what is on your mind. I think you have blessed me so that I can be a blessing. You want me to freely give to others just as you have freely given to me. You want me to be generous with others just as you have been generous with me. You are a giver. You want me to become like you. You want me to become a giver. That’s right. You got it.

What will happen to you as you give like I gave? You will use me when I give like you gave. I will bear fruit for your kingdom. I will bring glory to your name. I will shine brightly for you in this world. My faith will be on display. All my thoughts and words of faith will be tested and found to be true as I put them into action by giving like you gave. As I share with others from what you have given to me my faith will grow vibrant and strong because I will know that you are using me. You are working in and through me when I help others in need. Yes, I am.

How will you know when I want to use you? How will you know when and where and how to give? I will keep my eyes and ears open. I will watch and listen for opportunities to serve you by serving others. No longer will I walk right on by those who are in need. I will be your hands. I will be your feet. I will go where you guide me. I will do all that you ask of me. I will let you make my faith real as you put me into action in your service. That will be very good.

Lord, thank you for my faith in you. You are my Savior and Lord. It is my joy to serve you. My eyes and ears are looking and listening for opportunities to serve you. Help me to do good works that will bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Rhythms – James 2-14-17 – Faith – Works – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

What Good Is It

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 160 - James 2:14-17-What Good Is It?- Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 160 – James 2:14-17-What Good Is It?- Growing As Disciples

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  James 2:14-17 (NIV)

What Good?

What good is your faith in me? That seems like an odd question. I will ask you some more questions, so it does not seem so odd to you. How has your faith in me changed your life? How are you now different because you have faith in me? What are you now doing that you would not be doing if you did not have faith in me? Now, I understand where you are headed with this line of questioning. You could have asked, “How is my faith in you observable?” Or you could have asked, “How can others see that I have a vibrant faith in you because of the way I think and speak and act?” Yes, those are two very good questions as well. How will you answer my questions? I will tell you one thing without a doubt. What’s that? I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you if I did not have faith in you. Nor would I be writing about our conversation. So, I could also say, I would not be living in an intimate relationship with you if I did not have faith in you. Yes, that is quite true. What else? I can’t think of one thought or word or action of my life that has not been touched or changed or transformed because the life of faith I am living with you. You have changed the entire course of my life. My former way of thinking and speaking and acting is long gone. Those who knew me back then, before I came to have faith in you, would not recognize me today. Every day, as I have lived a life of faith in you, you have been molding and shaping my life. I’m as sure as I can be that you are not finished with me yet. No, my work in and through you will continue until the day you come to live forever in heaven with me. Well, that is another thing, I should mention. What’s that? You have continually asked me to go and do things for you. You have worked through my life so that I can bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I know without a doubt, there is no sitting around, doing nothing, on this journey of faith I am on with you. That’s true. And I will keep on saying yes to you. I will keep on going and doing whatever you ask of me. That will be very good. So, what good is my faith in you? Living a life of loving and following and serving you is the goodness of the faith I have in you. Good answer. Thank you, Lord. 

Lord, I want my faith in you to be living and active. I want others to be able to see my faith in you as I go and do whatever you ask of me. I want my faith in you to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. Use my faith in you in your service. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 160 – James 2-14-17 – What Good Is It? – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Consider It Pure Joy

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – 365 Days Of Promises - Day 1 - James 1:2-8 - Consider It Pure Joy - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – 365 Days Of Promises – Day 1 – James 1:2-8 – Consider It Pure Joy – Growing As Disciples

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8 (NIV)

Joy

This life is filled with trials, of that I am sure. Sometimes, it seems like I have just left a trial, or I am about to enter another one. Yes, I know that I have been the cause of many of my own trials. I have made many dumb decisions and stupid mistakes that have brought trials into the heart and center of my life. But there are many trials that I did not cause. There are many trials I have not brought on myself. Trials are part of life. Trials are rampant in this sin broken world. Trials come in an almost unlimited variety of shape and sizes. Yes, they do. Did I mention, I am not a fan of trials. No, you did not. I would rather not go through them. If I can go around or pass by a trial that is fine with me. Yet, you say that I can have joy as I go through trials. It almost sounds like you are almost saying that I could welcome trials into my life as friends. Why is that? You tell me. I don’t know. What has happened to you as you have gone through trials?  I’m not sure what you are asking me. Has your faith grown stronger as you have persevered through trials? Yes, my faith has grown stronger as I have persevered through trials. Why is that? As I have gone through trials, I have cried out to you. I have asked you for your help. Would you know and rely on me less if you had not gone through trials? I’m sure that’s true. So, trials have helped you to come to know and rely on me more fully? Yes, that is true. There is no doubt about that. That’s right.

What have you learned about yourself as you have gone through trials? I have learned that I need wisdom, especially when I am going through trials. On my own, I am not likely to think or speak or act wisely when I am in the midst of trials. That sounds like an understatement to me. It is. I have thought and spoken and acted very foolishly when I have been in the midst of trials. What have your learned about me as you have gone through trials? You are the giver of wisdom. You are wise. You are all knowing. I can ask you for wisdom. You will not turn me away when I ask you for wisdom. You will generously give me all the wisdom I need when I ask you for it. Yes, I will.

Let’s recap this. I’m listening. Trials have caused your faith to grow. Trials have helped you to rely on me. Trials have led you to ask for and receive wisdom from me. Through trials you have come to know me better and follow me more closely. Is this all true? Yes, it is. Can you have joy in knowing all this about trials? Yes, I can. That is very good. 

Lord, I know trials will test my perseverance and strengthen my faith. I will let trials do their work in me so I will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Help me through trials. With faith, I’m asking for all your wisdom as I go through various trials. Amen

Key Question…  What do you know that will help you to remain joyful even in the midst of trials?

Living It Out…  Ask God to give you wisdom as you go through trials in life.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that God will give you wisdom as you go through trails in life.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group how God has given you wisdom as you have gone through trials in life.

Prayer To Bless Others… May you your faith grow strong as you are tested by trials.

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 1 – James 1-2-8- Consider It Pure Joy – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Mature And Complete

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Be - James 1:2-4- Mature And Complete - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Be – James 1:2-4- Mature And Complete – Growing As Disciples

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Working In You 

I am working in your life. Day by day and moment by moment, I am changing you. I am molding and shaping your life. I am making you into the person I want you to become. How are you working in my life? What are you using to change me moment by moment and day by day? How are you molding and shaping me into the person you want me to become? How can I recognize your activity in my life? Why do you want to know? Why are you asking me these questions? I want to welcome your activity in my life. I don’t want to get in the way of your working in my life. I don’t want to hinder anything that you want to do in me, with me or through me. Those are good thoughts. Those are good desires. With the wrong attitude, you could hinder my working in your life. With the wrong attitude, you could short circuit what I want to do in you, with you and through you. I don’t want that. No, you don’t.

How can I guard against having an attitude that would hinder your working in my life? What must I be on guard against so that I don’t short circuit what you want to do in me, with me or through me? Those are good questions. You may not like my answer. Why is that? I have watched you when trials of various kinds have come upon you. What have you seen? You certainly haven’t welcomed trials into your life as your friends. You have wanted to get over trials as quickly as possible rather than joyfully grow through them. You want me to be joyful as I go through trials? You want me to welcome trials into my life as my friends? Yes, I do. Why is that? How strong would your faith be if you never went through a trial? How often would you have come to rely on me if you never went through a trial? How have trials strengthened your faith in me? How are trails causing you to grow mature and complete as you continue to love, follow and serve me? Haven’t you drawn nearest to me and felt my presence in the midst of every trail you have faced? I see your point. I now see why I should welcome trials into my life as my friends. I now know without a doubt that you have been working in my life in the midst of every trial that I have faced. I will change my attitude. I will stop whining about the trials I am going through. I will joyfully look with great anticipation for how you will be working in me, with me and through as I go through trials in life. That will be very good.

 Lord, I have wanted to quickly get over trials rather than joyfully grow through them. I have not welcomed trials into my life as an opportunity to persevere and grow in my faith. Now, do whatever you need to do to make me fully mature and complete in you. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Be – James 1-2-4 – Mature And Complete – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com