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John 15:9-17Contemporary English Version (CEV)

I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. 10 If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.

11 I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. 12 Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. 13 The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. 14 And you are my friends, if you obey me. 15 Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.

16 You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.[a] 17 So I command you to love each other.

Footnotes:

  1. 15.16 in my name: Or “because you are my followers.”

John 15:9-17New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

“Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that you will have the same joy that I have. I also want your joy to be complete. 12 Here is my command. Love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than the one who gives their life for their friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I do not call you slaves anymore. Slaves do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. I have told you everything I learned from my Father. 16 You did not choose me. Instead, I chose you. I appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit that will last. I also appointed you so that the Father will give you what you ask for. He will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 17 Here is my command. Love one another.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

James 2:14-26Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Faith and Works

14 My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? 15 If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, 16 you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? 17 Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!

18 Suppose someone disagrees and says, “It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds.”

I would answer, “Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them.” 19 You surely believe there is only one God. That’s fine. Even demons believe this, and it makes them shake with fear.

20 Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Well, our ancestor Abraham pleased God by putting his son Isaac on the altar to sacrifice him. 22 Now you see how Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. 23 This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend.

24 You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe. 25 For example, Rahab had been a prostitute. But she pleased God when she welcomed the spies and sent them home by another way.

26 Anyone who doesn’t breathe is dead, and faith that doesn’t do anything is just as dead!

James 2:14-26New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Show Your Faith by What You Do

14 Suppose a person claims to have faith but doesn’t act on their faith. My brothers and sisters, can this kind of faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister has no clothes or food. 16 Suppose one of you says to them, “Go. I hope everything turns out fine for you. Keep warm. Eat well.” And suppose you do nothing about what they really need. Then what good have you done? 17 It is the same with faith. If it doesn’t cause us to do something, it’s dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith. I do good deeds.”

Show me your faith that doesn’t cause you to do good deeds. And I will show you my faith by the goods deeds I do. 19 You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that. And they tremble!

20 You foolish person! Do you want proof that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Our father Abraham offered his son Isaac on the altar. Wasn’t he considered to be right with God because of what he did? 22 So you see that what he believed and what he did were working together. What he did made his faith complete. 23 That is what Scripture means where it says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God.” (Genesis 15:6) And that’s not all. God called Abraham his friend. 24 So you see that a person is considered right with God by what they do. It doesn’t happen only because they believe.

25 Didn’t God consider even Rahab the prostitute to be right with him? That’s because of what she did for the spies. She gave them a place to stay. Then she sent them off in a different direction. 26 A person’s body without their spirit is dead. In the same way, faith without good deeds is dead.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

James 4:1-6Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Friendship with the World

Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn’t it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body? You want something you don’t have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won’t get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it. Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.

You people aren’t faithful to God! Don’t you know that if you love the world, you are God’s enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you doubt the Scriptures that say, “God truly cares about the Spirit he has put in us”?[a] In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say,

“God opposes everyone
    who is proud,
but he is kind to everyone
    who is humble.”

Footnotes:

  1. 4.5 God truly cares about the Spirit he has put in us: One possible meaning for the difficult Greek text; other translations are possible, such as, “the Spirit that God put in us truly cares.”

James 4:1-6New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Obey God

Why do you fight and argue among yourselves? Isn’t it because of your sinful desires? They fight within you. You want something, but you don’t have it. So you kill. You want what others have, but you can’t get what you want. So you argue and fight. You don’t have what you want, because you don’t ask God. When you do ask for something, you don’t receive it. That’s because you ask for the wrong reason. You want to spend your money on your sinful pleasures.

You are not faithful to God. Don’t you know that to be a friend of the world is to hate God? So anyone who chooses to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy. Don’t you know what Scripture says? God wants the spirit in us to belong only to him. God caused this spirit to live in us. Don’t you think Scripture has a reason for saying this? But God continues to give us more grace. That’s why Scripture says,

“God opposes those who are proud.
    But he gives grace to those who are humble.” (Proverbs 3:34)

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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