Faith in deed v Faith alone
A compassionate heart: Our response to a generous God.
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
(James 4:17 NIV)
Further reading to accompany today’s reflection: James 2:14-26
Not only did Nike spend a long time to come up with the ‘tick’, they also spent an extortionate amount of time to come up with the statement that followed it which has now become a household name: ‘Just do it’. If you were to sum up this passage in James, it would have to be the Nike statement: ‘Just do it’.
As Christians there is a biblical principle in understanding God’s word.
- Revelation – God speaks.
- You do it.
- Illumination – it may or may not be explained.
This is the way faith always operates. It is doing what we have been asked to do.
We live in a culture where this is often reversed. We want everything explained, then we may do it and we may recognise God speaking. This has never been the way in the Bible. God speaks as with the illustration of Abraham and Rahab in our passage. They were called to act not knowing the outcome or the consequences. If God has spoken let’s do it.
40acts is a great time to take a step of faith. Maybe God has been challenging you to do something. Maybe a simple act or maybe a big act. You may be hesitating, overthinking and wanting it explained, but it may be that what you have to do is ‘Just do it’. Being certain that God has spoken is key, but there are so many things that God has already told us to do. Just take a step of faith, to love the poor, care for the broken, and show compassion to the downhearted and lonely. We need to change our lens in the way that we see people and these situations, to have a lens of love that reaches out and walks by faith! That walking by faith is the way that we can please God who is jealous for us to trust him and to step out. It is in the light of this that James calls us to show our faith by our actions. It is not dependent on our salvation but it is a sign of bearing fruit which calls us to trust God and walk by faith.
Questions for reflection:
1. What is God asking of me today?
2. What one thing do I need to do that will cause me to step out and show that I am trusting God in relation to family, finance, future and work?
3. To show my faith is real and not dead, what one deed can I do as a step of faith?
God, today enable me to trust you for what I cannot see and step into the future, not full of fear but full of faith in a God that loves me and gave himself for me. Amen.
Written by Roy Crowne
Coming from an engineering background, Roy went on to study theology. He then
worked for Youth for Christ for 28 years, the last 13 years being as YFC’s National Director.
Roy’s passion is to see the church working together for the purpose of mission and as co-founder of Hope 08, alongside Andy Hawthorne and Mike Pilavachi, Roy is now Executive Director of HOPE, a mission initiative working together with the church in word and action.
Roy loves to see the church at the heart of the community, putting faith into words and action as part of HOPE 2018 where we seek to make Jesus known together in both word and actions.
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