Practice Makes Perfect
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your gift of faith. Let me apply it in good deeds so that I may show I am Your beloved child.
Read James 2:14-26
 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.  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.  You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.  You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  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.  You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the verdict on a faith that displays no good deeds?
Because James is challenging their attitude to the poor in their midst, he emphasizes the pointlessness in claiming to be one of the faithful but failing to practice mercy (15,16). There is a wider principle here. True faith must result in actions that reveal the substance of conversion, otherwise it’s useless (16) and, worse, dead (17,26)! James goes even further, suggesting that it may even be satanic, since to know the truth about Jesus and his Kingdom and to fail to act according to this knowledge is much the same as demons do (19). Faith expressed through action isn’t a gift or calling that some have and some don’t; it is a universal expression of Christ’s work in us (18). Two examples are given to demonstrate that faith and actions working together have always been God’s way (22). Abraham would have been considered faithless if he had not been prepared to offer up Isaac (24); and Rahab, who would never be viewed as righteous because of her lifestyle, was credited as righteous because she recognized God’s judgment upon Jericho and acted on that understanding (25).
Is your faith little more than churchgoing and intellectual assent in God? You need to get proactive with your faith!
Lord, help me align my faith and my actions so that people can easily see that I am one of Your children. Yes, a child of God!
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