James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

As we enter this new year of 2011 many, if not most, folks start out with resolutions: a sort of promise to themselves to make some, usually positive, change in their lives. These
resolutions are often hard work and generally fall to the wayside in a fairly short timeframe. Occasionally a person will be really committed to the change and follow through with it on a permanent basis.

In our verse today I believe that this is along the lines of what James is speaking of: having faith so committed to Christ that we follow through no matter what. Scripture makes it clear we are not saved by any works we do. But our love for our Lord, our
devotion to Him should be so great that it is manifested by a desire to His will. The greater our love of Jesus the more we are motivated by the love to move on faith for Him. I always kind of
equate this verse and thought with Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”; we do what He wants of us out of
love so that He may get the honor and praise and be magnified before the world.

Did you make any resolutions for 2011? How will God be glorified by/in them?

Works That Bear Fruit

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

A farmer was showing his fine orchard to a friend who admired its neat and regular appearance. “But,” said the friend, pointing to a peculiarly shaped tree, “if that were my tree I’d root it up in order to preserve the uniformity of the orchard.” The farmer smiled and said that he was more interested in the fruit than in the form. “This tree,” he said, “has yielded me more fruit than any of those trees that conform to a more regular pattern.”

Sometimes Christian workers may become so accustomed to doing things in what they consider the traditional or time-honored way that they forget to evaluate its productiveness. We must remember that doing something because “that’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t necessarily make it the best way.

Casting Our Bread

Psalm 24:3-5
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Sunday night we were blessed to have The Godsmen with us to provide praise and worship music. They did a fantastic job, too, by the way. Their first song was one I really like and you may be familiar with, I believe it’s called Bread Upon the Water. The song speaks of casting our bread upon the water, helping our brothers by sowing a good deed that will come back home to us, which got me to thinking about our attitude of service and worship.

I wonder how many good works or deeds are done with the expectation of receiving back for our service? While I believe that we are often blessed for doing things that pleasing and obedient to our Lord, I don’t think that the thought of what we might reap ought to be any type of motivation for our deed. Scripture teaches that God judges our heart’s intent. If He looked at the intent behind a service and saw that we were motivated by self how do think He would feel? Rather if the motivating factor were obedience and love, won’t The Father be well pleased?