“What good is it, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 2:14
Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. No doubt. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. But, with that faith comes a desire to tell others how they too can have a relationship with God. With this faith comes in Indwelling of the Holy Spirit that slowly works in us and helps us shed our earthly responses to situations. Instead we respond in love, patience, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. We are no longer the center of our universe- Christ is.
Martin Luther King is quoted to have said that “man is justified by faith alone, but it is not an alone faith”. It is not a passive faith. Jesus commanded us to go into the world and convert. Those were his last words on earth to us. Through Scripture He says whatever we do to others we do to Him. We are His hands and His feet in this world. Those are deeds- not out of obligation, but out of thanksgiving. Because we are sinners in need of a Savior, we see others as redeemable as well.
That spawns compassion. Compassion spawns action.
Rich Mullins sang a song while he was on this earth that says “faith without works is like a screen door on a submarine” – in other words it is totally useless. It is the light under the bushel. Why? Because deeds reinforce our faith. Like muscles, faith has to be exercised or it will atrophy- grow weak and ineffective. When we do work for the Kingdom, we take our eyes off of us and put them on others, and on Jesus. Through deeds we see His miraculous love in action. We are witnesses to His grace. Deeds are a way of communicating with our Lord, they are the outward expression of prayer and praise..
Dear God, help me to see where Your Hands and Feet need to go today. Open my eyes to see where I am needed today, to the deed(s) you are calling me to do. Fill me with confidence that You have plans for me if I but pay attention to your Holy Spirit prompting me. I love you, Lord. Help me to spread that love to a world starving for it, even if that world is only a stone’s throw from my front door. I pray this through Your Son whose wondrous deeds saved me. Amen.
“Do not merely listen to the Word, and be deceived. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and forgets what he looks like.” James 1:22-24