My son and I have been reading through James with the Good Morning Girls book club. Today we read James 2:18-22.
 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.  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!  Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;  and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.  You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
(James 2:18-26 ESV)
During our observation/application section of the study we had a great discussion about how we as Christians can be doing works in vain. When we do good works we examine our motives for doing so.
Here are some questions we came up with to ask our selves.
1. What is the main reason I am doing this?
a. Is it to serve God?
b. Is it serve myself?
2. Will thins act cause me to boast in myself or boast in God?
3. Am I doing this only so that I will appear to be a Christian on the outside?
4. Am I doing this to earn my way to heaven? (Note: There is nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven. The rand-some has already been paid by Jesus Christ who shed his blood and laid down his life for the payment for our sins.)
When we take our eyes off of Christ and put them on our selves we are not truly serving God. God has called us to do these good works and even has prepared them in advance for us to bring to completion.
Sing Praises to Your King!
Ladies and Gentlemen Keep your eyes focused on the cross!