Faith that is living and active, looks like something tangible. Faith without works is simply dead.
Let me be clear that works are not for salvation, but because of salvation! Because we have been saved, we get to do good! We don’t do good to get saved. In fact our good works in order to gain righteousness are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
This doesn’t mean we sit around being lazy though. As Christians we have been given the privilege to partner with God in doing good works for Him and with Him – what an honour this is when He is more than capable of doing it all Himself! We are in fact created to work! Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS, which God prepared in advance for us to do’.
Mature faith, means we put into practice what we believe, and don’t just consume. We live in a day where we have unlimited access to a feast of information and resources – powerful podcasts, brilliant books, engaging speakers and entertaining preachers, and even phone apps for when we are on the go. But of what use is it all, if we are not intentional about applying the revelation we gain from them to our life? We all know that anyone who simply consumes and consumes and consumes, will inevitably get fat. A healthy person has an active faith, outworking and exercising that which they consume.
James 1:22-24 says, ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like’.
Practically speaking, do we spend time meditating on what we have learnt, or simply rush to the next thing? Do we seek out relationships that keep us accountable to the truths we know? Do we ask the Holy Spirit to activate what knowledge has been imparted through teachings? Do we make time to reflect? Do we seriously consider how we can practically apply the word of God to our life?
It can be easy to believe a message, but it requires work to actually apply it. It can be easy to feel like we are exercising our faith by listening and hearing, but don’t be deceived, it is the ACTION of our understandings that makes our faith come alive.
James 2 says, ‘My dear brothers and sisters, what good is it if someone claims to have faith but demonstrates no good works to prove it? How could this kind of faith save anyone?… faith that doesn’t involve action is phony… You can believe all you want that there is one true God, that’s wonderful! But even the demons know this and tremble with fear before him, yet they’re unchanged’.
Since I was one week old, my ears have heard the sounds of great teaching and preaching, but at the end of my life, I don’t want to be known for being well-read, having perfect meeting attendance, and even listening well. I want a life that demonstrates the ACTION of Jesus, and be known for having a faith that is living and active.
Take the time to consider how you can apply your next teaching to your life.
““Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
A daily devotion for a better way of living.