True Faith, True Action
20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God (James 2:20-23).
If you want to prove that you are right about something what do you have to do? Oftentimes, you have to produce what is called, “proof” or “evidence”. Let’s say that there is a disagreement between you and one of your siblings (if you don’t have any siblings, just imagine it for a second.) You accuse your sister or brother of doing something like taking one of your best shirts, stealing a toy, or saying something mean. Your brother or sister might come back at you and say, “Prove it!” What they mean is that they want you to show evidence that your claim is true.
James is saying the same thing here. He uses one of the main men of the Old Testament to make his point. Abraham was a guy who had to believe God by faith. God called him to leave everything and follow him. So what did Abraham do? He actually did something! He didn’t just say that he believed, he actually packed up and left everything he knew and followed God to a new place and through that God used him to enact his whole plan of saving the world.
What would you think of Abraham if he heard God’s call and then just sat on his rear and did nothing? Would that be real faith? Of course not. That is James’ point. True faith means acting on that faith. If you never act on your faith, do you really believe? Our lives are the proof that we love God. We are walking evidence.
Read Romans 12:1-2
• According to this verse, how do we make our faith into evidence that we truly love God? (Being a living sacrifice.)
• Can we conform to the values of this world and still say that we love God?
Our Father, we want to show that we believe with our actions. Use us to display to the world that you are real. Use us to display to the world that you are a God of mercy and grace. Use us to display to the world that true joy is only found in relationship to you. May our lives be consistent with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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