We all know how important faith is to our walk with Christ. We also know we are called to action but if the truth were truly known, most of us would probably put more weight on faith than actions. Rom 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It is faith in Jesus that saves us and brings us into right relationship with God.
But James raises some troubling thoughts when he states; What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? James 2:14-15 (NLT) It is clear that there is more than faith involved here. To be the example to the world around us, there needs to be the fleshing out of our faith. The practical day to day actions that declare to those around us, I am a believer in Jesus and the Kingdom I serve impacts the way I live my life in the world. Our actions scream out to the world around us what we truly believe.
James makes it really clear a few verses later when he writes; Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. (NLT) Having been to a number of funerals the past few months, I can attest to the fact that the ones whom I was gazing upon in the casket (one being my own sister) did not have breath and what was once alive and vibrant was now just a corpse. James is really saying that my great faith, if I refuse to act upon it, is really just a corpse!! Lifeless and useless to the world around it.
As I was standing at one of the caskets with just the undertaker, we began talking about our physical bodies and he said something really interesting. He reminded me that our bodies begin to decay almost immediately once breathing stops and will begin to stink in a very short period of time. He said it is amazing how fast it all begins to take place once life is gone. As I apply the analogy that James uses here, he is saying that when I do not follow up my faith with works, my faith is lifeless and will begin to decay. In reality it will become an unpleasant odor to those around me.
The proof is in the action. What you really believe is shown by how you act, not by what you say. May your faith continue to grow exponentially today and may your actions give credit to what you believe so that the aroma you leave to those around you is one of vibrant life.
Declaring Our Victory Emmanuel