Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 19, 2003

Faith without Works is Dead

(James 2:17)

Faith without works is dead. So often when we are going through a difficult time, people tell us to "have faith", to "just trust God". They say it as if God was some magician who snaps His fingers and automatically makes everything OK. While God has that power, and while God will use that power at times, God normally works through people and events. We rarely get in a mess overnight, and rarely are going to get out of a mess overnight. Part of the "getting out" process is learning how to become totally dependent on Him. It is learning how to make our faith real. It is learning how to work in conjunction with our faith. True faith, Biblical faith, requires action. It is easy to say the words, but putting your actions behind the words is what real faith is all about.

One of the greatest examples from God's Word of someone putting their actions to their faith was David. He not only had the faith that he could go out on the battlefield and defeat Goliath...He actually did it! You see my friend, if we really believe something, our natural response is to put actions to that belief. While most thought David was being foolhardy to go out and face Goliath, in David's mind that was the only logical thing to do. After all, His faith told Him that God would defeat this Philistine giant, and David was simply going to be God's instrument. That is what our faith demands....ACTION. It is simply not good enough to say I believe. If you really believe, the only logical step is to step out and live that belief.

Why we don't put actions to our faith simply boils down to the fact that we really don't believe what we claim to believe. The true test of our faith is our willingness to step out and back up those words with our actions. One of the most difficult things to do for each one of us, and the one area the church has always had a major problem teaching, is taking our faith and making it real in our day to day lives. Saying we believe one thing, and then living in opposition to that, makes me question how much you really believe in what you claim. The bottom line is if you really believe it, you live it! The translation of our faith in Jesus Christ into our every day life becomes the real test of our walk with the Lord. The world clearly understands this concept. One of the biggest reasons people in the world reject the message of Christ is because they hear Christians profess one thing and then live in opposition to that profession. The visible hypocrisy becomes a major stumblingblock to many people.

How do we do a better job of putting actions to our faith? It is a process that builds day upon day, month upon month, year upon year. Look at the basis of David's faith when he went out to fight Goliath. He told Saul that in the past when guarding his fathers sheep, he had to defend them from a bear and lion. In both cases the Lord gave David victory. He said it so perfectly when he told Saul that the same God who gave him victory over the lion and bear, is the same God who would give him victory over Goliath. I say to you today, that the same God who has given you victory in the past, is the same God who will give you victory today. It is upon that foundation that you should boldly walk out your faith each day...put actions to your faith each day.

I love you and care for you so much. I will be praying for you today that you will begin to put actions to your faith. Make your faith come alive in your day to day activities. The Lord will help you to have more faith each day as you watch Him work in your life. Your faith will grow, giving you even more courage to live each day for Him. My friend, this becomes one of the benchmarks of our Christian experience. It is simply not enough to believe. It is simply not enough to say that you have faith. Real faith, Biblical faith, REQUIRES action on our part. It requires us to live out our faith each and every day. I will be praying today that you will make your faith real each day as you live your life for Jesus.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller