Real Faith is More Than Words
“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, NLT)
In the United States, there are many people who say they are Christian. In fact, several recent studies reveal about 70% make that claim.
And, yet, many of these people appear to live according to their own rules, not by trusting in God’s Word. What they say about their faith and how they choose to live don’t line up. Real faith is more than just the words they say.
For instance, I could say I’m the best dancer in the whole world, but that wouldn't make it true, and the moment I started dancing, you’d know it wasn’t true.
Just because you say you have faith doesn't mean it’s true. This is what James is addressing in today’s verse: what’s the use in saying you have faith, if it doesn’t show up in the way you live and the things you do?
James isn’t saying we are saved by our works. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. But our attitudes and actions should be evidence of our faith.
This is the difference between a fake faith and a real faith. In this time of pandemic and upheaval, our faith must be real. Our response to these events should come from our faith and not our fears. This is a time to put our faith into action.
There are thousands of promises from God in the Bible. You need these promises to stay stable and strong right now. But to access those promises, you need to fully trust God. That’s the kind of faith that will lead to answered prayers and a changed life. It’s a faith that will save you.
So how do you know if you have real faith, one that will stand up to life’s biggest pressures? Take a look at your actions and see if they back up what you say you believe.
As you do that, remember the Good News is there is no condemnation in Christ. If you think your faith hasn’t been real, then tell that to God. Tell him you haven’t been living according to the things you believe. Tell him you want to do that right now, and watch how he begins to transform your life.
Talk It Over
What are ways we can show real faith during the COVID-19 pandemic?
How does your faith go beyond mere words? In what ways does your life match up with what you say you believe? In what ways do you need to change?
In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says this: “Not everyone who says that I am their Lord is going to enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants.” (NCV)
How does this verse relate to today’s devotional?
We Are Saved by Faith
James isn’t saying we are saved by our works. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. The Bible says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NLT).
But, through our faith, God transforms us so that our attitudes and actions become evidence of our trust in him. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).
If you’ve never placed your trust in Jesus, now is the time to do it. To find out how, watch this video where I share, “What Does It Mean to Follow Christ?”
Premium Resource — Open Doors Daily Devotional
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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