You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
What can I give back to God
for the blessings he’s poured out on me? — Psalm 116:12 (The Message)
The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. — Romans 13:11b-14 (NIV)
I have a friend who says something to the effect that “nothing good happens after midnight”. And when you think about it, he’s just about right. When there is light shining, people behave more appropriately. When there is darkness, there are all kinds of evil. As Christians, we are to “walk in the light, as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7, NIV). Jesus is “the light of the world” (John 8:12, NIV). If we are going to clothe ourselves with Him (Galatians 3:27), we must step out of the darkness and into the light of His glorious presence. We must reject the darkness of evil and sin and instead, we have to allow Christ to shine His light into the dark places of our souls. His light will expose everything that is evil and then it can be done away with. May His light shine in the darkness in and through us today.
PRAYER: Father God, help me to walk in the light today. May I seek to live in such a way that I do not need to hide my life in the shadows of darkness. Remind me that I am clothed with Christ by Your grace. Remind me that I represent Him everywhere I go. May I shine His light in the darkness today. I praise You in the holy name of Jesus, amen.
James 2:18-19 (NIV)
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 says that faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26, NIV). Saying, “I believe” is not enough! It is impossible for a Christian to say that they have faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ and not back up their words with action. If you are not living out your faith in good works, then your faith is dead on arrival.
James points out that the believers of his day would say that there is only one God (bringing to mind the Hebrew Shema as well as denying the polytheism of the pagans of his day). He then compares those folks with demons! The demons know and believe that there is one God. The demons, when they came face to face with Jesus, said, “What do you want with us, Son of God?” (Matthew 8:29, NIV). In Mark 1:24 (NIV), the demons said, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” and “I know who You are — the Holy One of God!” The demons expressed belief in who Jesus is, which is more than we can say for many in our world today. They did not express that belief in their works. Their belief did not change them when they rebelled against God eons ago.
Do not merely say, “I believe.” Faith in Christ does not allow a believer to sit idly by with no evidence of said faith in one’s life. Good works fueled by faith, hope and love are not optional. Our faith must be more than surface deep. Our deeds must be the demonstration of our faith in Christ. True faith in Jesus does not allow one to sit in a church building on a Sunday morning in one’s Sunday best only to leave one’s faith behind for the remaining 167 hours. Take your faith with you and let it fuel your good deeds throughout the week. Show love to the world in Jesus’ name. Help those in need. Pray for those who are far from God. Share your faith with those who are lost in their sins. Volunteer in your church’s ministries. These things do not save us, but rather they are the evidence of a saving faith.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I believe in You. I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died on the cross for my sins. I believe that I am forgiven by Your sacrifice. Help me to demonstrate my faith by putting it into action. I know that I am not saved by my works. Help me to remember that I am saved to do those good works You have prepared for me to do. Thank You for giving Yourself for me, Amen.
James 2:14-17 (NIV)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.