Good Trees and Good Fruit

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14).

What would you think of someone who said they loved you but they constantly made fun of you in front of other people? What would you think of someone who said they were passionate about caring for orphans but never gave their time or a single dollar towards the needs of orphans in the real world? What would you think of someone who said they loved God but never showed up at church, shared their faith, read their Bible or prayed?

Sounds kind of odd, doesn’t it?

James is making a similar point for his original audience and us in our text for today. He was writing to a group of people who said they were Christians but their lives displayed very little evidence that that claim was actually true. They were all talk and no walk. They wouldn’t put their money where their mouth was.
This was a huge problem for many people back then and for us today. We are going to be learning a lot about this idea in this week’s devotionals. It is important to remember that our works do not save us, but they are evidence that we are already saved. This is an important distinction that we’ll keep coming back to.

Read Matthew 7:15-20
• What do you think is Jesus’ point in these verses?
• How does Jesus’ teaching relate to what James wrote in our verse for today?

Our Father, help us to live lives that honor you. We want to be consistent. May our walk and our talk be the same. We want to bear fruit not so we can impress you or others but so that you can get the glory for yourself through your Spirit working in us. Apart from you we can bear no fruit. Plant us by the river of your word so we will be overflowing with love for you and others. Thank you for the fact that your life, death, and resurrection covers our failures. In Jesus’ name, Amen.