Morning, July 11
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Bible League: Living His Word
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

In our verse for today James puts forth a simile. On the one hand, there is the body and the spirit. On the other hand, there is faith and works. The two pairs are comparable to one another.

The spirit or soul of a human person is the quickening or vivifying principle of the body. It is the spirit that makes the body alive. The body is not completely and finally dead until the spirit leaves the body for good. Indeed, the body apart from the spirit is not even the body anymore, but a mere corpse. Spirit and body were designed by God to be connected to one another (Genesis 2:7). Death is the disruption of that connection.

One would think, given the biblical point of view, that faith should be comparable to the spirit and works should be comparable to the body. This is because faith is best regarded as the inward quickening principle of the outward visible acts of a person. Faith, to put it another way, determines the direction that our outward acts take.

James, however, reverses what we would expect. Instead of comparing spirit to faith and body to works, he compares spirit to works and body to faith. This is because, from his point of view, faith apart from works is not true faith at all, but a mere intellectual assent to a dogma. It is not, in other words, the quickening principle of good works that it should be. Such "faith" is just as dead as a body without the spirit.

James is not contradicting the Apostle Paul's teaching that Christians are justified by faith. All he is saying is that the true faith that justifies us will by nature yield up good works. If it never does, then something is wrong with it. It is dead. Paul's point is that mere obedience to a law can never justify us. James' point is that mere intellectual assent to a dogma can never justify us either (James 2:24).

In summary, James' point is that it is important that our works reflect the faith that we have in our hearts. If our works never show the quickening of true faith, then that faith is not true faith at all.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Psalm 4, 5, 6

Psalm 4 -- Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness.


Psalm 5 -- Give ear to my words, O Lord. Consider my meditation.


Psalm 6 -- O Lord, don't rebuke me in your anger


New Testament Reading
Acts 16:16-40

Acts 16 -- Timothy Joins Paul and Silas; Paul's Vision of a Macedonian; Lydia; Conversion of the Philippian Jailer


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.
Often, Jesus asked those he healed to be quiet about the healing, but he urged this man to return to his family and tell them what God had done for him. Why? (1) Jesus knew the man would be an effective witness to those who knew his previous condition and could attest to the miraculous healing. (2) Jesus wanted to expand his ministry by introducing his message into this Gentile area. (3) Jesus knew that the Gentiles, since they were not expecting a Messiah, would not divert his ministry by trying to crown him king.
When God touches your life, don't be afraid to share the wonderful events with your family and friends.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
1 Peter 5:10  After that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

You have seen the arch of heaven as it spans the plain: glorious are its colours, and rare its hues. It is beautiful, but, alas, it passes away, and lo, it is not. The fair colours give way to the fleecy clouds, and the sky is no longer brilliant with the tints of heaven. It is not established. How can it be? A glorious show made up of transitory sun-beams and passing rain-drops, how can it abide? The graces of the Christian character must not resemble the rainbow in its transitory beauty, but, on the contrary, must be stablished, settled, abiding. Seek, O believer, that every good thing you have may be an abiding thing. May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no "baseless fabric of a vision," but may it be builded of material able to endure that awful fire which shall consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite. May you be rooted and grounded in love. May your convictions be deep, your love real, your desires earnest. May your whole life be so settled and established, that all the blasts of hell, and all the storms of earth shall never be able to remove you. But notice how this blessing of being "stablished in the faith" is gained. The apostle's words point us to suffering as the means employed--"After that ye have suffered awhile." It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Shrink not then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Jeremiah 15:20  "Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you," declares the LORD.

Isaiah 49:24-26  "Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?" • Surely, thus says the LORD, "Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, And the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; For I will contend with the one who contends with you, And I will save your sons. • "I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

Isaiah 41:10  'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Hebrews 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 2:18  For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Psalm 37:23,24  The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. • When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit

Evening July 10
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