Updated: Apr 8
I want to begin by asking you a question….
Do you believe that God exists?
Now let me ask you another one...
If you answered yes to the above question, how has that belief changed the way that you live your life?
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17
In the blink of an eye, one moment and one action on our part can change everything. Not just for ourselves or our family –but also for the world around us. Some of the results of our actions are wonderful while some... not so much. Some may seem insignificant, while others are life-changing. But in all actuality, we may never know the magnitude of our actions in the lives of others while on this earth.
While I would tell you that words are important because they often show the condition of our hearts, I would also tell you our actions are a picture of our surrendered lives to Christ and His purpose. As James tells the early Christian churches, it is of no benefit to someone if you simply acknowledge their lack of food or provisions –the changing effect happens when you step into action.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” So, is James contradicting what Paul taught to the Church in Ephesus? The answer to that question is No, not at all. The Bible teaches us with absolute certainty that Salvation in Jesus is found only through our Faith in Him and His perfect plan. We cannot work our way into Heaven by good deeds or actions, but our Faith in Jesus is what produces these good deeds and actions in our lives.
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” James 2:19-20
Faith apart from works is useless…There is such weight in our actions. If our Faith, love, and surrender to the risen Christ do not produce good works and actions that point others toward Jesus then it’s time to reevaluate our relationship with God. James tells us that even the demons believe in God.
So, you see, if you were to go back to the first two questions that I asked you –the first by itself really has no relevance to where you spend eternity. The second, however, does. And not only does it affect you, but it also affects the ones around us that are the recipient of our works, actions, and deeds. Are you working for temporary fulfillment in this broken world or does your Faith in Christ produce the works that honor God and grow His Kingdom?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. “Colossians 3:23-24
Works without faith are useless and Faith without works is not even possible. Do your actions towards others show evidence of Christ living in your heart and working through you? Do you work for the glory of God or the praise of the fallen world? The magnitude of our actions are huge. They paint a picture of our devotion to Christ and the condition of our hearts. One action of ours may very well change eternity for the ones around us because as Christians –the world is watching us.
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