Read James 2:14-26 today. It is a section of scripture which often brings heated debate because it tells us that faith without works is dead. We are told in Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. But James 2:14 says: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Lord, I've always been a taker. When a gift's been offered, I haven't hesitated to take it. Your Word says that you made all things and all things, therefore, belong to you (For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. Col. 1:16). When kind words have been offered by a friend, I have eagerly soaked them up. When someone has been kind enough to make a meal for me, I have not hesitated to eat it. Whenever a beautifully packaged, thoughtful birthday, Christmas or other type of gift has been handed to me, I have unabashedly put out my hand to receive it. Your gift of salvation was given to me by you, and I took it with precious little thought given to the enormous price that was paid for it. Yes, my whole life has been about taking, Lord. I'm sorry for my self-centeredness, my selfishness. Forgive me for being so focused on my pleasure, my comfort, my need.
Give me your eyes today, Father. Help me to see those who are in need of a gift. The gift of a kind word, something to eat, some way to keep warm or be comfortable, and where there is need for a beautifully packaged gift to make someone's eyes shine because they know they're special...well, I pray that you would inspire me to accomplish it. For them, and for you. And your gift of salvation, Lord, use me to get the Word out. Let me be your own type of the united parcel service delivering the message of your gift of salvation to all who are looking or expecting to receive a gift that words can't describe, a price cannot be placed on and with a value thaat is beyond imagination. Use me today, I pray. Let me finally be a giver of the gifts you want people to receive.
James 2:14-26 tells us that faith without works is useless, that if we say we have faith and yet do nothing for you, what does it matter? Even the demons say they have faith, and they do nothing for you; in fact, they work against you. Lord, I do not wish to work against you, ever; and so, I ask that whatever I do for you that you would lead me in it, show me how to give gifts from your hand, with your love, your smile, your true caring within it. May the receiver feel the brush of your hand as they reach out to take it.
So be it.