by Luke Kincaid
One of my favorite scriptures is found in James 2:14-17 (NLT):
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? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
I am challenged by these Holy Spirit inspired words of James. Walking the talk when it comes to our faith in Jesus is by living out what He commands of us. A faith which is simply proclaimed and not practiced is one which is dead and useless. This leads me to ask myself the question: “Luke, is your faith alive?” And the only way to answer this question is to evaluate how I am currently loving God and people practically.
I think it is helpful for all of us to ask ourselves this question. If we truly wish to further Jesus’ kingdom this will only happen through a practical faith. The more people we share Jesus with in both Word and deed, the more we will see people coming to a saving knowledge of Him. And the world definitely needs Jesus!
I was reminded of this Scripture in James today while reading through Philippians 3:8-9 (NLT):
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
After stressing the importance of fixing our thoughts on the right things we see that Paul says that the readers of this letter to the Philippians must keep putting into practice all they have learned and received from him. Again I see that a practical faith is being referenced here. What I really appreciate about Paul is that they were not only to practice what they had heard from him but also what they had seen him do. This mean that Paul himself lived out a practical faith. This is so encouraging because when living out our practical faith we can then lead others through our example. Our words have more authority when backed by action.
As I go into this new week I am going to be praying that God gives me more opportunities to show my faith to others through deeds which bring glory to Jesus. May Jesus be magnified through our practical faith as others see that we are not merely proclaiming a faith in Jesus – but we are also willing to prove our faith in Jesus through how we live our lives.