We've heard the sermons multiple times about James's passage of "Faith Without Works Is Dead." It's so accurate, but have you ever stopped and considered if you have faith but aren't necessarily doing anything about it?
Matthew 17:20 says "Faith can move mountains," but only if you really believe God can move those mountains. Mark 11:24 says "I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," but do you actually believe that it is there for you? God can do all things. God created all of this, why shouldn't He be able to help you in your time of need? The catch is, you cannot sit idle with brave faith saying, "it's alright, God will provide," because that is not doing anything. That is not work. I just listened to a brilliant sermon by David Platt called "Work and Rest for the Glory of God," about how many times we can see work as a thing that came from sin, or that we over-value or even under-value. Actually, when we over and under-value work and rest, that is the sin! God specifically worked for us for 6 days, and on the 7th day, he rested. There is a reason that He commands us to work plentifully for 6 days, and rest 1 day. There is a reason He gave Adam the command to work in the fields and look after the livestock as work--it pleased God and gave Adam purpose! David Platt was saying if we could just look at work and rest as gifts from God and glorify Him through them, that is what makes it all worth-while. So, as I was saying, working is part of glorifying God, work is not a bad thing (unless you're in something not pleasing God as work, like drug-dealing, then sos), so why don't we also work in our faith?
What does working and doing faith look like? Here's the passage from James for us to read:
Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
14 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? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 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?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] He was even called the friend of God.[c] 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[d] so also faith is dead without good works.
So here's what's up: "Even the demons believe," yet they work against God. You believe, sure, but are you working for God? Understand that you cannot sit idly by without going to your church family, without reading your Bible, without having a relationship with God, without serving God in your community, without acting like a Christian and expect things to miraculously happen. God wants to work in your favor and has great plans for you, but if we do not follow his simple rules that are only out of love and grace, it's just a one way relationship that is not good. He is encouraging you through this passage to do more than say that you believe in God but then party on the weekends and never crack open the Word to understand and believe more. God is encouraging you to see how beautiful the world can be, and how wonderful the blessings that He, the I Am, will give you when you follow his words and act your faith to the rest of the world.
I encourage you today to reach out to your church family, or someone you know, and start talking about this to them. It's a great thing to talk about, and it's never too late.