18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (James 2:18-19).
Did you know that Satan and his demons know the truth about God? That might sound like a horrible statement, but according to our verse for today it is most certainly true. How does that work?
James is making a very important point here that we need to be careful to understand. He is continuing to drive home his point that the Christian life is not just words but it is also deeds. Our deeds display that we really believe what we say we believe. So to make this strong point he uses the example of the demons. He says that they believe! They know full well that Jesus is God. They know full well that their days are numbered and God will one day completely defeat them. They know full well that the Bible is God’s word.
But there is one key difference between how the demons believe and how true Christians believe. Do you know what it is? It’s in the text of our verse from today. Can you remember?
It’s found in the very last word. It’s the word “shudder”. The demons know the truth about God but they hate it and fear it. Is that the posture of a Christian? No way! That is the key difference between how demons believe and how Christians believe. It comes down to what you love and what you want.
So what do you love? What do you want?
Christians know the truth about God and they love it. They want it. They rejoice in it. They worship God for it. So true belief resides in the affections, not in the mind. So true belief is not just head knowledge, it’s love and desire for the truth.
Read Matthew 15:8-9
• What does God want more than just words?
• According to these verses, how does our worship of God become “vain”?
Our Father, thank you that you have revealed your truth in creation, your word, and in Jesus. Help us to not just know it but to want it and love it. Our hearts are so hard at times. Overcome our hard hearts and awaken us to embrace your truth like a child embraces his mother or father. We want to love the truth and walk in it. Help us please. We know you do by the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.