~June 24, 2020 – Evening Devotion ~
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
~James 2:17-18, KJV ~
Faith requires obedience. Obedience is an ongoing process as it increases and strengthens our faith in Jesus Christ and a Sovereign, merciful, and graceful God. Look at the many different encounters of people the Savior healed. Not once did he say unto them:
Pray, confess your sins, and accept me into your heart as your Lord and Savior
Not once did he declare unto people:
Follow me and accept these doctrines as the true fellowship and Church
No. What we do find is Christ saying to the lame man: Take up thy bed and walk. We see him pointing to the paralytic being lowered down from the roof: No greater faith have I seen. Yes, faith is essential. It is required. However, without obedience, our faith is worthless. It is dead. Too many fellow Christian traveler’s struggle when people say unto them: “Go, have faith, the Lord will provide” It is not the person who stands in need and makes their request known before fellow believers and the Church that are lacking in faith. It is the fellow believers who lack the faith and kindness to obey and follow Christ. Dare we imagine Christ saying to those whom he ministered “Go, have faith God will heal you.” and turn his back on them? How dare we stand and shame and turn our backs toward those faithfully coming to us and seeking relief? Do you not understand how much courage and humility it takes for an individual to rise out of their own shame and guilt – hand outstretched and asking for sustenance, kindness, mercy, and grace?
James shares his thoughts on the nature of Faith and Works. Not from a legalistic context. He speaks to the manner in which many operate under in today’s churches. He speaks to how many Christians despise the poor, cast judgment onto the downtrodden. Turn their backs to those in need. They have forgotten the heart and compassion of Christ like ministry:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.James 2:14-18, KJV
May we walk in the example of Christ’s enduring ministry. May we show kindness in meeting the needs of those broken, seeking relief. May we stand in amazement when the Savior reveals himself unto us and declare that when we ministered to those in need, we ministered to Him and in His name.
~ Today’s Prayer and Meditation ~
Heavenly Father, I stand convicted of ignoring the needs of those seeking relief. I have turned them away out of pride and arrogance. As I seek forgiveness, show me the compassion and kindness I need to minister as Christ ministered. Let my works show the faith I have in you as I walk according to your will and desire. Help me remove the disobedience and allow me to grow in obedience. For as I stand in need of your grace, mercy, and truth, so others stand in need of my grace, mercy, and truth.