Verse of the Day Devotion: James 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
This verse refers to a very important concept that we must focus on in order to live the life Christ has called us to live. It presents the question, is faith real with no works? James then presents the following example. “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:15-16. He implies at the end, through the words “what use is that?” their words of encouragement mean nothing.
Let me present another example. You are walking in the woods in a place you have never been before. After a time, you come across a bridge that goes over a deep canyon. The bridge is made of rope and sways in over the deep ravine. The one walking with you says he walks across this all the time; it is completely safe. You tell him you believe him that it is safe, however you refuse to cross the gorge. Do you then really have faith in what He said?
One thing about faith is we must show, not just by words but by actions, that we truly have faith. And when it comes to faith in God, this is especially important. And the works implied here is not just reading the bible and other so-called Christian deeds, although this is important for us to grow in our faith. If you claim to be a Christian, do you live as Christ did while here? Do we follow and live out the two great commands Jesus gave us? “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Matthew 22:37-39. Do we truly exhibit these qualities? If we do not, then is our faith true faith, or merely words? This speaks of loving each other as He has loved us. This is a sign of true devotion. The man mentioned above who only spoke encouraging words to the one who needed clothing and daily food without providing it for them did not show love to them at all and did not follow what Jesus asks of us.
Jesus calls us to love each other. “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:12. Jesus provided for us by dying on the cross for our sins. This showed the reality of the love He had for us. And if we only speak of our salvation through Christ without living in the reality of it, then is it true salvation?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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