Ezekiel 14-15 James 2
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:14-16 NCV)
The book of James doesn’t answer the question: “What must I do to be saved?” The question this book deals with is, “What must I do since I’ve been saved?” In these verses, James makes it clear that our faith should make a difference in our lives. He gives what seems to be a ridiculous example: a person needs clothes and food. One person sends them off with a blessing: “Go in peace. Stay warm. Eat well.” Perhaps they even added that favorite phrase of all, “Remember. God will provide.” By implication, the other person provides them with food and clothes. In one case, “faith” gave a person pretty words to say, in the other case, faith made the person do something as an agent of God.
While James doesn’t mention the second person explicitly, the first example of faith, based on words, demands a second example of faith based on actions. In the first example, that expression of faith could easily embitter a brother or sister against the speaker and against God. Have you ever heard someone talk about a time when they really needed help, and no one, not even their brothers and sisters in Christ, would help them? What if a non-believer sought help and Christians fed them platitudes instead of bread? The truth is, sometimes we have to sacrifice to help someone else. That requires faith. True faith doesn’t just practice lip service; true faith requires actions and words. Don’t just tell someone about your faith, show them the fruits of your faith as you talk to them about Christ. It’s important to remember, though, that we don’t show our faith to gain salvation, we do it because we have salvation. We don’t show our faith to gain God’s love, we do it because we have His love.
Lord, there are hurting people out there that need Your ministry. Use me to comfort them. There are hungry people out there who need food. Use me to feed them. May I always be ready to show others how much You love me by showing Your love to them.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.