Inspirational Messages
October 24 thru October 30, 2021

Recruiters League
73rd Anniversary

“Faith Without Works is Dead” 
James 2:20

Sunday, October 24, 2021
Congratulations to the Recruiters League on their 73rd anniversary. The statement of occasion was shared in your hearing which chronicled the origin and services of the Recruiters League to this congregation of believers in Christ and the community. Their theme is taken from the epistle of James chapter 2 with a focus on a phrase in verse 20, “Faith without works is dead.” We as disciples and followers of Christ put our faith on display demonstrating the depth of our devotion, the length of our love and the practice of our piety because we believe that service is the price we pay for the space we occupy. We give back to God in service for all the Lord has given us. 

Let me share again the passage of scripture for today which focuses us on the theme “faith without works is dead.”
14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? James 2:14-20 English Standard Version
James identifies himself as “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ” who is writing to “the twelve tribes scattered abroad” (James 1:1). The book was written primarily to the Jews who had been dispersed amidst the Roman Empire during a time of intense persecution. James gave instructions for the Jews who were dispersed or spread abroad and well beyond the Jerusalem church. He wanted them to stay connected to the body of Christ. James provides biblical methods for praying, having faith, how to suffer, controlling the tongue, how works and salvation are related one to the other, doing and not merely hearing. He chastises the rich, comforts the poor, shows how to acquire wisdom, and what true faith really is. 
Nearly one-third or 31.2% of the world's population is considered to be Christian. Approximately 2.5 billion professed to be Christians. 
James wrote to encourage Christian Jews with an overall theme of patient perseverance during trials and temptations. James writes in order to encourage his readers to live consistently with what they have learned in Christ. James condemns pride, hypocrisy, favoritism, and slander. James wrote this to encourage Christian Jews not to revert to violence in their response to injustice and poverty, egregious treatment (outstandingly awful and flagrant disrespect), but rather to stay focused on doing good, staying holy and embracing the wisdom of Christ, not that of the world. James lifts up the practice and performance of Christ as a litmus test for faith finding an authentic expression in the world.
Consider what it means that faith without works is dead. 
Monday, October 25, 2021
There were those who were engaging in a discussion of whether you were saved by your faith or by what you do as though there is a disconnect between the two, like they were mutually exclusive. In reality we know that faith and works are opposite sides of the same coin, inextricably connected like heads and tails. There is always a discussion that reduces the principle of believing that seemingly ends in a circular conversation, a back and forth, that concludes in a paralysis of analysis. A paralysis of analysis causes individuals or a group to overanalyze or overthink a situation and then stunts forward motion or decision-making, wherein no solution or course of action is decided upon. 
Faith always expresses itself in some type of action, otherwise it is just talk professing something without action that demonstrates what it is talking about. You know, love is what love does. Love causes one to act in a certain way. Just as hate is what hate does. Hate causes one to act in noticeable hateful way. Faith is what faith does. Faith causes you to act a certain way and to respond a certain way. You cannot see love, hate or faith. You know they exist by the effects they produce. The Bible says by their fruits you shall know them. You may not see the wind but you see its effects; just like you may not see love, hate or faith, but you see their effects. 
Jesus said you are known by the fruit you bear. A good tree bears good fruit and a corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). The fruit you bear reflects the faith you share whether it’s good or evil. 
Consider what it means that by their fruits you shall know them.  
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Firstly, faith is woven into the fabric of human nature.   
Everyone has some kind of faith. Faith is woven into the warp and woof of the fabric of humanity. Everything we do has a faith aspect to it. You believe in something, someone, some possibility, some objective, some purpose. Everything that is done has this faith component. Simple things like walking, running, sprinting, playing, and you name it. You do it because you believe you can. You act on what you believe. You do what you have faith in your ability to do. You have faith in people you don’t know. Every time you go in a building you demonstrate you have faith in the architect, the construction crew, the companies that designed and provided the materials, the safety department of your city or municipality. Whenever you purchase something, whether it's merchandise, jewelry, car, food, etc. You are evidencing that you have faith. If you fly on a plane, imagine all of the people who contributed to the process to produce that aircraft; you don’t know them. And there is the crew; you don’t know them either. You trust that they have been certified by a credible process that ensures their proficiency. Enough of my musing. I think you get the point. You have faith. It is just a matter in what or in whom you put your faith. 
Jesus has faith in God, the Father, the Creator of all that is. Jesus’ faith in God found action in purposeful practice. We saw His faith in His works. His whole purpose for being was to put his faith on display. Just as love displays itself and hate displays itself, faith displays itself. We have faith and believe that Jesus is the consummate expression of what God is like as well as the consummate expression of what it means to live as creatures made in God’s image and fashioned in God’s likeness. 
If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. If you want to know what God expects of you as one made in God’s image and likeness, look at Jesus.   
Luke 4:18-19
What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say. In 1960 President John F. Kennedy spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, and used a quotation that he attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson [JKU]: What we are speaks louder than what we say.
Consider how your faith finds expression in what you do daily. 
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Secondly, base your faith on what is credible
People can have faith in a lie. Even when people believe it is a lie, they die with the lie. People keep perpetuating lies. There are those who perpetuate what’s false. 
Think of how we have perpetuated falsehoods that have subsequently required corrections throughout history. One example would be “Indigenous People’s Day.” Also, what about the history that some are trying to deny and and prefer to teach what is not true? People do believe in what is not true.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”  Winston Churchill.
I repeat the words in the poem Present Crisis often because it needs to be seared in our imagination and find expression in our quest to put our faith on display:  

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide in the strife with truth and falsehood for the good or evil side. And that strife goes on forever twixt that darkness and that light.” James Russell Lowell
We believe what we want. You have heard the expression, I am sure, My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts. We live in an age when people believe in alternative facts, my truth and your truth, which is nothing more than a way of saying my truth is mine and yours in yours while in reality your mind is made up.  “A person persuaded against his will is of the same opinion still.” Be sure your belief in the truth is grounded in what is actual with substantial evidence to support it. 
Consider what it means that your faith compels, convicts, and commission you to do something that reflects what you believe.  
Thursday, October 28, 2021
You do what you believe. If you don’t act on it, you don’t believe it. Life is structured that way. Think about it for a moment, you only act on what you think you will be able to bring to pass. You run the risk of failure to test the limits to see what will happen. Faith tries despite the barriers. Faith proceeds in spite of the obstacles. Faith goes forward regardless of hindrances. There is a compulsion and conviction about faith that expresses itself in decisive, determined, and definitive activity.  You are compelled, convicted and commission by some unction to do what faith requires of you to put it on display. Faith leads you to stick it out to see the outcome. We need to put our faith on display given the current circumstances we are facing as a nation, where our democracy is vulnerable (susceptible) to a lie, a falsehood without any credibility, garnering support among a group that is threatening violence and even a civil war. 
Imagine again, what our founding document says as the truth on which we are given a promise as a faith on which we can rely. 
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its
Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to adopt and imitate
their faith in Christ.  

People of faith have struggled to live up to the expression of faith that Christ demonstrated with His life that they claimed to embrace. Struggling to portray the faith we believe we have in Christ, how often have we failed. 
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, (inscription on the Statue of Liberty). We are still doing what we can to bring to pass what we believe, the ideal of a multicultural society with liberty and justice for all.  
Consider what it means that your ideals and ideologies are put on display not by what you say or write, but by what you do.
Friday, October 29, 2021
Finally, put your faith on display to reflect Christ.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10  
Imagine the kind of believer this scripture makes and nurtures. A believer who personally confesses that he believes that the Lord Jesus, and that God raised Him from the dead, acts in a way that involves personal accountability and responsibility. Remember repentance is a central aspect of salvation according to scripture. 
If my people who are called by name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
Matthew reminds us that after the temptations of Jesus, He began his ministry. “From that on Jesus began to preach, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Jesus says, I am come to call you to repentance, a radical inward change of heart and mind, a change in mind’s perceptions and dispositions and purpose. Repentance is a change of direction. Repentance was a condition of salvation. 
Luke 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Unless you repent you will perish. Luke 13:3 Repenting is what happens to produce the fruit of new deeds.  
Repentance means experiencing a change that now sees God as true and worthy of all your allegiance, commitment, loyalty ,and all your adoration and devotion.  
The change embraces Jesus in the same way. Jesus says, “if God were your Father you would love me, for I came from God.” (John 8:42). Seeing God with a new mind is seeing Jesus as an expression of God’s presence in the flesh. We all need to repent. 
Unfortunately, we practice churchianity more than Christianity. Biblical faith and religion are not synonymous. The bible condemns religion as humanity's idolatrous attempt to bend deity into its whims and fancies to do what is required to be considered worthy of praise.

Consider what it means to practice churchianity as Christianity. 
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Biblical faith depicts God pursuing humanity. We have the call of Abraham, a covenant relationship established, nurtured and maintained by God who takes the initiative. It continues through the Exodus event on through the wilderness sojourn, through the conquest of the land to the establishment of the monarchy. It continues in a crib in Bethlehem where the paradox of the incarnation stills a world in silence as an angelic chorus sings. It continues on through the life, teachings, preaching, healing, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. It continues through the power of the Holy Spirit to manifest itself even now and shall continue.
Lord give us a faith that mirrors the living Lord we serve for we know that faith without works is useless and of no effect. Faith without works is dead and inconsequential. 

Lord, let our practice match our pronouncements so that we are not false representatives saying one thing and doing something else.  Lord, help us to produce the fruit of repentance and be the change you want to see. We say in the words of the musical composition, 
Oh, for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by every foe,
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe!
1.   That will not murmur nor complain
Beneath the chast’ning rod,
But, in the hour of grief or pain,
Will lean upon its God.
2.   A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without;
That when in danger knows no fear,
In darkness feels no doubt.
3.   Lord, give me such a faith as this,
And then, whate’er may come,
I’ll taste, e’en here, the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home.

I Want to Be a Christian in My Heart
-Joy Alexander

2412 Griffith Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90011 
Phone: (213) 748-0318