Speaking to the Soul – March 18

Faith into action

Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:15-17

You’ve probably noticed that Christians use a lot of words! Preaching, singing, praying and fellowship all involve oceans of words.

And that’s fine, as long as our words also translate into action. Otherwise, we should just be quiet! You can preach the finest sermon, sing the most beautiful song of worship, pray the most articulate prayer and enjoy the warmest fellowship but if godly actions don’t result, it is all a dangerous waste of time.

James doesn’t know how to beat around the bush. He goes straight for the jugular every time! He wants to see every Christian busily involved in turning their fine words into action. He is appalled at the thought that someone who claims to love God could see a Christian brother or sister in need and do nothing about it. It should never happen.

I wonder how that translates into our situation today. Many of the early Christians were poor. Many were probably slaves, and without a welfare state it was easy for them to fall on hard times. Life today is clearly different from the first century, but despite the many benefits of modern life, there are still many people with debt problems, physical and mental health issues, relationship struggles and fears about the future.

It is good to pray for people and wish them well. But we must take action too. There are an incredible number of charities that provide practical help in Jesus’ name. Whatever our gifts, we are all able to do something to help others. If we are serious about following Jesus, we must find what that something is.

How are you going to turn your faith into action today?

Gracious Lord, forgive me for the times when I have failed to turn my faith into action. In the power of your Spirit, help me to live for you today. Amen.