James 2:14-19 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, passionately argued that belief isn’t enough. Even the demons, have a good theology. They don’t deny the existence of power of God.
James contends that a saving faith transforms us into people who love others and have good works. Notice that he does not say we will be perfect. As Paul writes, a Christian runs the race of faith until God calls us home. We are to love God and people.
A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. Walking out of the store, he tripped and dropped the sack. All the eggs broke, and the sidewalk was a mess. The boy tried not to cry. A few people gathered to see if he was OK and to tell him how sorry they were. In the midst of the works of pity, one man handed the boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, “I care 25 cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?”
Brennan Manning said the following about the way Christians live out their faith.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
Are we prepared to lay down our lives for Christ and love others, or are we leading unbelievers farther from God because of our hypocrisy?
Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Fortunately, faith in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit and out of that faith flows a transformed life. Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. God will give us the strength to serve him if we will only trust and obey.
Trust and Obey
By John H Sammis
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Prayer: Lord, you are the source of all good things and our loving Abba daddy. We pray that by your grace our faith would abound more and more. Give us the faith, hope, and love to trust and obey.