So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Billy Bob was the picture of a perfect Christian. He attended church every week – sometimes even twice a week. He carried a Bible with him everywhere he went and even had three copies in different places in his house, plus a Bible app on his cell phone. He prayed before meals, and often prayed in his car while listening to Christian music. And he was quick to share his faith with others when the opportunity presented itself.
One day, as Billy Bob was leaving Zaxby’s after a lunch with some Christian friends, he passed by a homeless man in ragged clothes. Billy Bob was moved, and his heart broke for the poor man. So, with his leftover Zaxby’s sandwich in hand, Billy Bob reached out and … patted the man on the head and said, “God bless you. Have a great day!” And he continued on his way.
Is that the kind of faith that our Lord wants us to display? Certainly, attending church, reading your Bible, praying and listening to Christian music are all great things. But unless the faith that develops through those activities manifests itself in Christian action, it’s worthless.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 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? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
By all means, charge up your faith each Sunday here in church. Feed it regularly through scripture and prayer. And surround yourself with as many godly influences as possible. But let that faith lead you to action. Reach out to those who God brings across your path. Meet their needs. Let them see the Gospel at work, and in so doing, let them see the Jesus inside of you in action.
Reflection copyright © 2017 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.