Monday, November 24, 2014

Open Windows – Part 2

James 2:14-26 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Pastor Kyle explains that over time, we learn to discern the “harder” voice of God when it comes from the Lord. Three messages that are crystal-clear are (1) We have salvation through faith in Christ alone, (2) We are called to grow and walk in obedience to the Lord in all that we do - in every aspect of our life we are to be honest, open, and transparent. (3) We are to reach our family and friends for Christ. We are God’s Plan ‘A’ and there is no Plan ‘B’. It’s unrealistic to expect God to bless us when we don’t do what we know is crystal-clear from the Lord. Do not be distracted by this world lost in individualism, hedonism, materialism and existentialism, but focus on God’s crystal-clear word. That sin door closes and His window opens. Past messes on our life, God has grace for and He can use them for His glory, but purposefully live life “right” in the eyes of the Lord from now on. That in our life which is not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, leave them at the foot of the cross.

Ephesians 5:1-11 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.

Pastor Kyle reminds us to know that the only one that we can really change is ourself, so we must address that which is in us which we wish to ignore. If you and I are not working on our relationship with our Heavenly Father, then we are working against it – the window is closed and the air is getting stale and fowl. If you get off track with your relationship with God, then open the window and go back to what you did in the beginning, saying: “I love you Lord and want to follow You whole-heartedly.” Your loving Father in Heaven specializes in raising the dead in resurrected relationship. Catch and breath of fresh air at God’s window, get unstuck and go passionately forward.

In Christ, Brian

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