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Summary: Part 8 of our James series

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Bona Fide

A study of James

Part 8

“Stupid is as stupid does”

Many times in the movie Forrest Gump

Forest played by Tom Hanks

Is asked the question

Are you stupid or something?

And

Each and every time he is asked this question

His reply is Stupid is as stupid does

What this means is that a person’s actual IQ has little to do with common sense

And that a person’s actions, words and love will show them for what and who they really are

You see we are identified by how we act.

This brings us back to our study of James this morning

James has been laying out strong life principals for us

To show us good and smart guidelines for living a good and genuine Christian life

We have called that Bona Fide

In his book

James has drawn dots for us that when connected help us with our actions

Our words

Our thoughts

And help us spread the light of Jesus to the word by each of these methods

Let me recap last week’s teaching in order to tie this week’s right on in

The focus of last week’s message was controlling or taming our tongue

James 1: 26 was the basis for that teaching

James 1:26

“ If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”

Last week should have been a real eye opener for all of us

We saw how James says

That our words

Our Actions

Our compassion and our love are the true indicators of being a Bona Fide Believer

We saw how words can and do hurt others and even discussed some ways that we have been hurt by words as well

Loving words should come from a growing relationship with Christ

Harmful words don’t come from him

----Pause-----

So we come full circle once again

In our Study of James

We keep back tracking and picking up pieces of the puzzle that were laid down in the prior weeks

Why?

Because it all ties together

Learning to overcome temptations and trials with joy

Learning to trust in God for everything and rely on him alone, unwavering in our love and dedication for him

Dealing with our own hearts and our own desires and temptations

Honestly

Using the mirror of scripture

And

Making changes where they are needed

And then putting feet to our faith

Doing what the word says

These are all steps to becoming more like Christ

These are all steps towards becoming Bona Fide

And they all connect to form a picture

And when connected properly

That

Should look like Christ’ picture

---Pause----

James picks up from his introduction to taming the tongue

With verse 27

James 1:27

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

Pure and genuine

Real

Bona Fide religion he says

Is putting feet to our faith

Action to our words

Look at verse 27b with me

“Caring for orphans and widows in their distress”

Acting on our faith

James was writing to believers in a time when there was no kind of aid for a family who lost their father or husband

The woman and kids would be left to fend for themselves

Often selling themselves into slavery or prostitution

Or simply living on the streets

Getting by ever how they could

The religious establishment had washed their hands of the whole deal

Thinking

What can they add to the church?

James says

If you want to be different

If you want to stand out

If you want to set yourself apart

From the old established religion

And focus on a relationship with God

--- Pause---

When you see something like that

---Pause---

Do something!

This verse has great application for us as well

As a church or personally as a believer

As a church we support missions and we should- I pray we can add even more missions to our list of support in the years to come

We support a local ministry that gives food and clothing to those in need and we should

We are always available for prayer and counseling

And when we are presented with a need- a real-- need we will act

In a way that best helps in the situation

But

We also have that responsibility as believers

To act

Pray about how you can help someone

Pray that God would put people in your path

And that you through his wisdom

Could help them find solutions to the problems

I can tell you this

The answers are in here we simply need to unlock the answers by applying the word to our lives

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