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The Glory of a Good Pot Roast

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?

James 2:14 ESV

It is an interesting fact that the Bible never tells a believer to examine himself with one notable exception: whether he be in the faith or not. The Bible excludes all other examination for the following reason; once an individual places his faith in Christ, he receives the righteousness of God and therefore no self-examination is necessary or helpful. The full concentration of a follower of Christ must be on the work of Jesus within. Having said that, it is always an appropriate thing to ask oneself the question, am I truly saved. We all have doubts from time to time and the Bible does not leave us without reassurance that we are His.

The other morning, I filled my crockpot with a roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, and a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup. Having set it on low I went to work. Halfway through the morning the thought occurred to me; did I plugged it in? Oh, the ravages of old age, the cruelty of a dissipating mind. A damp cold crept across my face with the thought of my roast spoiling in the pot. I reassured myself that if I made it home by 1:30 I would have time to set it on high and have a shot at dinner at seven, as long as it had not spoiled. I arrived home in the afternoon and cracked the door open. I was instantly greeted with the glorious odor of a roast simmering in its own juices. I closed the door and went to water my plants.

When something is cooking you always smell it. When a life has been transformed by the Son of God there is always the evidence of a good odor. Life will always provide evidence for its existence. A baby cries, eats, and well, you know the last thing. A branch that bares no bud is dead.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, said it clearly and without apology that faith without works is dead, and then he asked the question, can that faith save you. It is a rhetorical question with an obvious answer. No! There is a type of faith that is nothing more than intellectual assent to certain truths. The kind of faith that saves a man is a repentant, moral decision to receive Christ. This kind of decision alters a man down to the core of his life changing both the direction of his life and his internal desires. The question is not whether you go to church or read your Bible or sing in the choir (or preach in a pulpit). It is whether there is a desire within you to be among God’s people, to study the Scriptures and to serve the Lord. Is there a conviction of sin when you wander off the path of righteousness? Are you bothered by the Holy Spirit from time to time? If not, cry out to the Lord today to save you. By the way, the roast was great and so is truly knowing Jesus.


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