Bible Reading: James 2
Imagine someone wanted to give you a car gift and took you to a car exhibition room to make a choice. Here you are looking at all these amazing automobiles, checking out various models and various features and all that. If you think about it though, your choice isn’t just going to boil down to your favourite colour or the model and year of manufacture. If that car is a car you want to ever use, the most basic thing to consider is whether there is an engine on the inside of the car body.
A car body without an engine is useless. It can’t go to all the beautiful places it should. It can’t serve you.
Same thing with a car engine without a car body. As powerful as a the engine of the car is, it is rolled around on four little pieces of leather. In the same way the body without the engine is useless, the engine without the body is also useless.
In our reading today, James places a clear and practical challenge on the table before us in how we think about our faith. We must be practical about it. We can’t claim a faith that is merely a powerful car engine, but doesn’t have the tyres to roll around on. It’s dead and wont serve any purpose!
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26 NKJV
James argues that the only way that we will really have a faith that is alive and functioning is if we are finding the corresponding actions that match our faith. It’s not about adding anything to the car engine, it’s about giving expression to the car engine. In other words, we are saved entirely by faith, but that faith never stands alone.
It’s like being thirsty and buying yourself a bottle of coke. It’s the drink you need. The bottle isn’t what satisfies your thirst- but you’ve never in your life gotten yourself coke without a bottle. The bottle carries the coke that satisfies your thirst.
Our faith saves us. But faith has actions that express it.
We live in a day and age where everyone can claim faith and spirituality and act anyhow. This is what James is speaking directly to. James says that if it’s down to claiming believing, even the demons can do that.
Are you a believing demon?
The big question is are you finding the corresponding actions of your faith?
You can’t say that you believe Jesus’ promise that He is holding your tomorrow and at the same time be actively afraid about tomorrow. Believing means trusting!
You can’t claim you believe the Bible is the word of God to give you direction in life and at the same time you never have time to read it. You can’t say you’re believing God to bless your marriage and be building it in ways that are contrary to his word.
Trust faith implies that actions will correspond with what we believe.
Can we take the challenge today for a more practical and functional faith? I’ll love to know in the comments section what you’re choosing to believe this month, and what action would correspond with that. I want to be a believing christian, not a believing demon.
For me, I’m choosing to believe that God is in absolute control of every detail of my future, and so I’m going to be more consciously thankful than worried.