The Sanctuary of Casa Grande

The Sanctuary of Casa Grande

CASA GRANDE — The content of this message is taken from James’ letter to the 12 Jewish tribes that had been scattered in the diaspora because of the persecution against them.

Christ had told his followers, who included James, when they asked what work they must do: Yeshua answered, “Here’s what the work of God is; to trust in the one he sent!” John 6:29 CJB

For many who proclaim they are saved, this may simplify their responsibility of doing works; however, because of our trust and belief in Christ, some work must be evident to substantiate or validate the words from their mouth.

The author, James, calls himself a slave of God and the Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

Slave means to be owned by another; a bondservant is committed to serve the owner for life. We are to be obedient to our master. James is a reflection of Christ. His words and actions are a “repeat” of Christ’s words and actions. We also are to be a reflection of Christ in our words and actions! This is what it looks like when we are born anew in Christ. We die to self, that he will have life within us.

James wrote in his letter: Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it! For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like; but if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, and then he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25 (CJB)

One thing we must always remember when we say we know and believe: There is no cloak for our sin of not being a doer of the word Christ has given us. I am accountable because I say I know and have received Christ as my saviour and Lord. Because this is my testimony, there must be some action behind my words spoken.

When we have Christ within us, our overall perspective of this life changes.

We are no longer as the world, but have become peculiar in our conversations, goals in life; and what we do with our time and resources we have. Whatever you have buried in your heart, your mouth will speak. Luke 6:45 One area in our lives I think many struggle with is our interaction with others. We do think we have a right to judge others, which is true; however, always remember that your judgment of others will be as you will be judged! Matthew 7:1-5 Yes, we are to judge the beliefs of others and discern the truth. There are many erroneous teachings before us; many doctrines that do not give a clear picture of Christ or our relationship with him. I call them half-truths, to tickle the ear and make someone feel good; but we must be grounded in sound doctrine; that convicts our spirit for change. If you think you have it all together and there is no reason for growth or change in your life, then you are not on the solid rock of Christ. He is the cornerstone and we are to build our house on him. It will not be completed until we see him face to face!

Christ said: If you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours. Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26 I have learned to have a tender heart toward others, because if I have condemnation against someone, that condemnation will come back to me. I also have learned that I don’t deserve what I have received, so I give to others not because of what they deserve, but because of Christ. Christ gave to me something I did not deserve; he gave me grace and forgiveness freely, without cost. God is and will always be the judge. We will stand alone before him in judgment; those who call upon the Lord and those who have refused to believe on him who God sent as saviour and Lord. We all go before his judgment.

Don’t just pretend to be a believer by your words only, but grow up and realize that there must be some “works” action behind your words. When we respond to needs of others by saying: “I’ll pray for you” and there is no other help given, then your words have no life. We must reflect Christ in our actions, not only our words. He went to many to meet their needs. He healed the sick; gave sight to the blind; fed the multitudes; and set us free. He laid his life aside, to teach the 12 men he chose. Because of these 12 men, we speak of Christ today because they chose to follow, just as we are to follow the example he has given to we who call our self a believer in the risen Christ, who has changed our life.

This is not an easy task to die to self, and lay your life aside for others. This is totally contrary to the way of the world. The world says: Seek after your own happiness; gain all you can.

God says: Be peculiar; die that you may live in Christ; be a slave to the Messiah; you must die to life; sacrifice your life for the life of others, just as Christ sacrificed his life for all mankind. We have been bought by the shed blood of Christ on the stake and we are no longer our own, but belong to Him. Christ lives and his word is alive and is at work within us. It is a double-edged sword that cut right through to where the soul meets the spirit and the joints meet the marrow. The word is quick to judge the inner-man and the attitude of his heart. God sees all. He sees our good, our bad and our ugliness. We can hide our inner-man from others, but never from God. He knows us full well and has purchased our lives for him. Rest assured: He will have his way with you and you are in good hands with him.

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Maria Watson is pastor of The Sanctuary of Casa Grande, which meets at 11 a.m. Sundays and at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 20110 W. Hopi Drive.

The Dispatch welcomes commentary from pastors and faith leaders. Submissions should be kept to about 300 words and convey a positive message. They can be submitted to events@pinalcentral.com.

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