SSB Gathering – August 23, 2015

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

 by Kathi

trafalgar square

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James 2

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

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.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.

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.

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.

***


***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

***

photo credit: Kathi – Trafalgar Square, London

5 comments on “SSB Gathering – August 23, 2015

  1. It’s all good, Kathi!!
    Is anyone here being affected by the fires out west? I am praying for a woman I met on another site. She had to evacuate her home during the week. So far her house has not burned, but only the Lord knows what will happen today.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The air quality yesterday and today has been horrible for us. We desperately need rain, or at least a strong wind to blow the smoke all out.

    Some positive news from our end…I have an aunt who is close to 70. She has had a tough go at life. She has dealt with drug addiction in her younger years and mental health issues as she has aged. She is one of the most hard working and giving people that I know. We grew closer as we helped care for my dying grandmother last year. She was diagnosed with liver cancer and Hepatitis C a while ago and had surgery for the cancer and medication to treat the Hep C. She has been in some pain since the surgery and an aneurysm was found near the surgical site. She is waiting for more tests to be done to figure out how to take care of that.

    I spoke with her yesterday and she has decided to get baptized today! This is kind of a big deal because she grew up Roman Catholic and now she likes that she is able to make this decision for herself. Plus, she added, “it doesn’t hurt, does it?” She’s has been planning on going to Russia with my mom and a few people from my mom’s church on a missions trip. She’s been meeting with some of the women from the group going over the past few months and has really solidified her faith.

    I thank God that she has come to peace with him. Her health issues and the thought of not having many years left have been scary for her, but yesterday she sounded like she was at peace and was very happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathi,
    I hope the smoke clears quickly and the fire stays far away from you.

    Thank you for sharing the good news about your Aunt!!! I can’t think of better news for this Lord’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brenda, in my area and in Kathi’s area (4 hrs away), we are experiencing hazy skies. Yesterday morning, I could barely see across the Columbia River. That’s a first!

    At church, someone was visiting because he was evacuated when the fire was a mile from his home. The fires are 3-4 hr drive away from us and I thought I was at a smoky campground yesterday. Today is better, but the fires are very bad. Thanks for praying.

    Liked by 1 person

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