Verse 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Yesterday we talked about our need for doing deeds that show our faith by bringing God glory, but deeds are more than just good things done in His name.
As we said yesterday, doing good things is not a way of earning our way to heaven but it does show the sign of a faith life in us. When medical personal are looking for life in a person they look for the basic signs – pulse, breathing and other such vital stats. To see if there are signs of spiritual life we also check certain signs of spiritual life in us. One of those is obedience for His glory.
James mentions showing this life of faith means sharing what we have with those in need. But he also talks about the ways that Abraham and Rahab showed their faith through their actions. While being nice and showing kindness is important it is even more important that we show our faith through the act of obedience to the Father. Even when it is not comfortable or easy.
Abraham was asked the hardest thing he could be asked, to sacrifice his beloved son. His faith was shown by his immediate action. It was not something he wanted to do and yet throughout the journey to get to the place of sacrifice he showed signs of his faith in God and how he trusted God to bring about a proper sacrifice. He tells his servants that they – he and the boy – would be back, he tells his son that the Lord would provide the needed animal. His faith was so alive that he was willing to act upon it, even when he couldn’t see how God was going to work it out.
Rahab knew the power of God only through stories she had heard throughout her life and yet she had such faith in Him and His power that she was willing to put her life on the line by hiding the spies. During her conversation with the spies she verbalizes her faith and shows her faith by asking them to preserve her life and the life of her family when they conquer her city. Though the act of faith may have seemed silly, she placed the scarlet rope out the window and was rewarded for her act of faith.
These are wonderful examples of what it means to act on faith and these acts had eternal consequences. This is the kind of faith deeds that should be evident in our lives. If we aren’t exhibiting our faith, it shows that our faith is lifeless.
Making It Personal
Have you obeyed God in some way that took a step of faith? How did that act of obedience bless you? What step of faith could you be needing to take today?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some ways that you can obey Jesus that show your faith in Him? Does it feel good to obey Him when He wants you to? What can you do today to show you trust Him?
Father, thank You for giving us examples of people who have trusted You in hard times. Help us be able to show our faith through obedience in the hard times. In Jesus’ name, amen.