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. – Jms. 2:18
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The writing of biblical book of James is credited to James the brother of Jesus and it contains general advice originally to the Christians in Jerusalem but is very much applicable to all Christians then and today. Chapter 2 of the same book focuses on the need for Christians to avoid favouritism and discrimination of any type whatsoever in their midst (Jms. 2:1-13) and the need for the believer to prove their faith not just verbally but by presenting evidence of works accomplished by faith. The latter point is the main focus of today’s devotion emphasising the need for faith to be accompanied by works.
James makes it clear that there is no good in claiming to have faith when there is no work to back such claim. Giving the example of a brother asking for food or clothing from fellow brothers, who may not have plenty but have something to give, He makes it clear that the brother who claims to have faith and offers to pray wishing this brother all the best cannot convince to be faithful as much as the one who provides what the brother requests, even if he does not have much. This will be because he has faith that God will meet his needs by the time he will in turn need what he has given out to meet the needs of the brother who made the request.
He argued further that mere verbal proclamation of acknowledging the existence of one God is nothing since even demons believe same and even shudder at the mere mention of His name. Citing the instances of the demonstration of faith by Abraham (Gen. 15:6) and Rehab the prostitute (Josh. 2:8-14; 6:17), James considers anyone who still debates this point as a foolish person concluding that faith without works is dead faith just as body without spirit is dead body.
The scripture today emphasises the following:
1. Faith indeed is in acknowledging the Almighty God as the only God but that is not sufficient as demons acknowledge him also and even probably fear, respect and honour him more than Christians do.
2. There is need for evidence of faith for faith to encourage others. Faith expressed verbally will not be sufficient to convince an unbeliever because faith been an action must be physical and not abstract.
Many Christians will love to be called believers but belief must be in something and must be expressed in something. It is impossible to have faith in nothing just as it is impossible to have faith in something that will do nothing. It is impossible to see evidence of fear in an environment of faith when what is been feared is believed to be within the capacity of the one on whom faith is reposed in.
Christians today seem to fear everything and it seems that there is nothing that the God we claim to have faith in can do. There is no doubt that God can do all things just as we are aware that God only does the things that He will do, but will not do everything. It is however important that we do not project our God as not wanting to do anything as this is what is happening when fear dominates every aspect of the lives of Christians. Where then is the evidence to use in convincing unbelievers of the great ability of our God. One thing is obvious and that is that the Almighty God does not and will not change. This is the same God, with whose name, several miracles including the ones that brought us into the faith were wrought. If such miracles are absent today, then it cannot be because he has stopped or run out of ability to perform like he did in the past. It must be an issue with the Christian today, not positioning themselves to demonstrate his spiritual abilities. Where are you positioned? Every Christian must be positioned in such a manner that their lives will provide the proof that God is worth having Faith in. Even Jesus had to appeal to God for ability to do works in order to convince people of his faith – Jn. 4:48; 17:23.
The essence of your life as a Christian is to prove to unbelievers that God is worth worshipping and if people do not see your works which are products of faith, they will not believe. Do all you can to prove your faith with works that can be referenced. That is the only way that your faith will have a meaning. May God grant us grace to register good works as a proof of our faith in Jesus name. Amen.