Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Chronicles 15
James 2
Amos 9
Luke 4

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

James 2:5 (CSB): “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Our dishwasher hasn’t worked for about a month and I called the repair shop (again!) to find out the status of our repair. They told me that a part was on back-order and they would give me a call when it arrived. The customer service manager asked for my phone number (that I have given them multiple times before) and I recited it to her. When she repeated the number, it was a totally different number than what I had just given to her. It took me reciting my phone number three times before she finally got it right.

Much of contemporary Christianity is just like that lady on the phone. The true, biblical Gospel is proclaimed and many people still can’t get it right. For decades, they’ve let their Bibles collect dust as they listen to preachers who have reduced salvation to a simple, mindless, heartless prayer that is probably incapable of saving anyone.

Many “Christians” think it is the prayer that saves them. Yet, not a single person in the Bible prayed in order to get saved. Not one. Sure, we can pray to be saved but it is the faith that saves us. The Bible makes it clear that it is faith that God graciously uses as the vehicle to save our souls (Ephesians 2:8-9). That’s just one of the areas of concern that demonstrates that so many Christians don’t read their Bibles and have allowed flawed teaching to distort their understanding of the Gospel.

And that is dangerous because the Gospel is what keeps people out of Hell. If the Gospel is distorted so that it loses its potency, then those who trust in a flawed Gospel will not experience its saving power. When it comes their time to die and their family and friends are celebrating that they are in Heaven, they may very well be in Hell.

The real question becomes: “How do I know that the faith I have is the right kind of faith in the true Gospel so that I am saved?”

Great question! People NEED to ask questions like that because our eternal destination is permanently sealed the moment we step through death’s door. We need to make sure that we are saved!

2 Corinthians 13:5 (CSB): “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.”

How do we know that we are truly saved, or as the previous verse says, that we “are in the faith?”

All we need to do is pick up our Bibles, read it, and pay close attention. The answer to that question is all over the Bible, particularly the New Testament. In fact, it shows up in the verse I have chosen for us today.

James 2:5 (CSB): “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?”

Look back at that verse and tell me what one heart attitude the person who is saved (“heirs of the kingdom”) will demonstrate? It’s so clear, right at the end of the verse.

“…to those who love him.”

Simply put, if you and I are truly saved, if we have embraced the biblical Gospel, then it will show up in tangible ways. While we cannot see our faith, we can see evidences of it. Specifically, one clear proof that we are headed to Heaven is that we love the Lord.

So, what does that look like? How do I know that I love the Lord? Well, here are some things to think about. If we truly love the Lord, then we will do things like the following:

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Lord Jesus, thank You that being saved is so easy. It’s a gift of grace from You and all I have to do is place my trust in You and what You did for me on the cross in order to forgive my sin and bring me into a relationship with the Father. I also thank You that I can investigate my faith to see if its the real deal by observing whether or not certain things are true of me. I pray that I would work for greater clarity of the Gospel, rest in its promises, and be readily available to share it with others. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.