Beyond the Gospels: James

Today’s reading: James 2:14-26
[Open your heart to the Word today, whether you click the link above or use your Bible.]

Believing God exists and sent His Son to save does not make you a Believer. Even the demons know He is, and they have enough sense to fear Him. I believe there are many in the church today deceiving themselves regarding their belief in the gospel. They may be quite confident He exists and rose from the dead, but when it comes to their actions they contradict all Scripture says belief entails.

The biblical concept of believe means exactly what James is saying here. It takes the form of action. When we truly believe in something we act on it, live our lives by it. You can tell what you actually believe by how you live life. What you do.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:26
Faith and believe in our English translations of the New Testament have the same root word in Greek which means to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). When we trust in and rely on someone or something that belief drives our actions.
Everyone can readily recognize a dead body void of its spirit. But what about dead faith? Is it as easily recognizable? This is what James was warning the church about, still warns the church about. Faith that hears the Word, but then forgets what it has seen as soon as it walks away is not faith at all (James 1:22-24). Favoritism and judgment reveal a faith in need of resurrection (James 2:8-9). Dead faith offers well wishes to those in need but does nothing tangible to help: I’ve been thinking about you… (James 2:14-16). 
Real faith is living and active. Listens to the Word and changes direction. Sees those in need and gives what is needed. Real faith listens to God and obeys even when it seems risky, like Abraham and Rahab. Faith alive in the Holy Spirit acts!
What evidence is there in your life for living active faith? Is there any?
Lord, I don’t want to go through life playing games when it comes to faith.
Open my heart to Your Word of truth. Bless me with faith that acts.
Bless me with living faith and the deeds that go with it.
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