The book of James is such an amazing book. (Who am I kidding, they are ALL amazing) BUT! The book of James is so clear and clean cut in exactly how things are suppose to be. I think that's why I love it so much.
"my brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism." (James 2:1)
We, as fellow believers must not show favoritism.
To each other over non-believers
To rich over poor
To young over old
We must not show favoritism.
Pretty clear cut, huh.
These are my favorite verses:
"For whoever keeps the whole law and stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' also said 'You shall not murder.' If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." (2:10-11) Don't those verses sound so condemning?
But they are very clear. A sin is still a sin. No matter what sin it is.
But, "...Mercy triumphs over judgement." (2:13) While 10-11 sound so harsh, we still have mercy. There's still hope.
"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?" (2:14)
To believe is not enough. "You believe there is one God? Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder." (2:19)
"...faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by actions, is dead." (2:17)
Okay. So maybe you read that last part and are thinking to yourself,
What deeds do I have to do?
What does “deeds” mean?
Deeds could really be almost anything.
Examples from the Bible are Abraham and Rahab.
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, on an altar. And Abraham was prepared to do so. (If you don't know the end, God stops Abraham before he actually sacrifices Isaac. This story is found in Genesis 22).
Rahab was a prostitute who took in spies to hide them from the king of Jericho who was after them. When people came looking for the spies, she sent them in the opposite direction of the spies. (This story is found in Joshua 2).
Both of these examples are listed in James 2:21 & 25.
So right now, maybe you're still thinking,
'Okay so I'm suppose to sacrifice my kids and hide criminals from the president?'
Deeds are things done that please God. So maybe today you helped someone in need.
Or you taught someone about the Bible.
Or you prayed with someone who is going through a hard time.
Talk to God. He will guide you to do what His will desires.
Deeds can be all kinds of things.
Take these things as a guide as you go through this week. Work on them little by little and don't be afraid to ask God for help making these things happen in your life.