As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26
It is very easy for a person to claim something, but it is more difficult to prove it. People will watch movies and wonder why a person does or does not do some action a certain way. They claim that if they were in that position, they would do it differently.
People will claim that they believe a certain thing, but their actions or words will often show something much different. Actions do not always follow what one is saying.
James talked about having faith and doing something with that faith. Now he says that just as a body is dead without the spirit, so faith is dead without actual deeds done in faith.
In the same way that many in the world claim something, but live differently, many in the church act the same way. Every one in the church claims to believe and trust in Jesus and follow God. However, very few actually do actions that show that they believe in or trust in God.
When trials come their way, many suddenly get scared that God will not provide. When God asks them to step out in faith, many will back down.
Claiming to trust or have faith in God is easy. No one can directly prove differently. Actions are what proves that one has faith in God. A person is considered dead if he does not have a spirit in his body. In the same way a person does not have faith or it is a dead faith, if there are not actions to back up the faith.
Having true faith will cause one to step out and act upon that faith, knowing that God will provide and protect, regardless of the outcome. Anything less is not true faith.
You may claim to have faith in God. While that is a step in the right direction, there must be more. As you claim to have trust in God, you must now take a step of faith doing what God calls you to do or acting upon that faith.
If you do not choose to step out in faith, you must ask yourself if you really do believe God and His word. You must ask yourself if your faith is alive or dead, active or dead.
Is your faith alive or is it dead?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust God in every area of your life; that you will act in faith what God calls you to do; that you will step out in action, trusting God’s word; and that your life will show a live faith in God.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
When a young child is doing something, he is often very focused and does not notice other things going on around him. As a person gets older, many will begin to lose that focus.
It takes practice to continue to focus on one thing, while ignoring what is occurring all around. With as many things occurring all the time, people are constantly shifting their focus from one thing to another.
After listing many people who demonstrated faith in God, the author of Hebrews tells the people to fix their eyes upon Jesus, the beginner and perfecter of faith.
Just as the world loses focus on a regular basis, many believers will also lose focus. Some will lose focus of God and begin to focus upon the things of this world.
Others will stay focused upon God, but get lose their focus to different trends and movements of the church. They begin to put their trust in new programs, rather than God.
The believer who is focused upon Jesus will not be easily swayed or led down the wrong path. He will not be easily tempted to sin against God, because he will not be looking at the things of this world, but the eternal purpose of God for his life.
Staying focused requires one to continually study God’s word and hide it in his heart. It requires that he does what God’s word says, not just hear it. It requires one to stay in continual prayer with God, in both speaking and listening to God.
As you go through your days, the world will fight to gain your attention and focus. Problems will arise on a regular basis. Rather than allow fear and troubles suppress you, keep your focus upon Jesus. Recognize what Jesus went through for you and know that He will help you do the same.
When you are completely focused upon Jesus, the momentary and light troubles of this world will fade away. The temptation to sin against God will be overcome. Joy will arise in your heart as you know and do God’s will for your life.
Each day ask yourself what are you focused on? This world? Or Jesus? Life? Or death?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be focused upon Jesus; that you will know God’s will for your life; that God will strengthen you to endure the troubles of life; and that you will know the joy of God’s salvation.
Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:16
All around the world there are many people who are longing or desiring for a better place to live. For some it is seeking to be in a different country, while for most it is just in a different part of their own country.
Many feel that if they were living in a certain area, life would just be great with very few problems. Often the perfect place is never actually found.
The author of Hebrews had been talking about men and women of faith. He states that they were seeking a home outside of this earthly realm and that God is preparing them that new home.
While the world is seeking the perfect place to live on this earth, believers have something greater to look forward to. No nation on this earth is perfect, because every nation is made up by and ruled by men who are sinners and fail.
So instead of seeking out a new place here on the earth, believers are looking forward to a new place in heaven.
Every believer is on a journey to a new place being prepared for them in heaven, even while they live on this earth. This journey is one of faith. No one can see the new place in heaven, but believe that God is preparing it for them as He says He is.
As one believes God’s word about eternal life in heaven, it gives one strength to keep moving forward. He will not grow discouraged when faced with the troubles of this world, because he knows that there is a better life coming.
You will have days in your life that there are many struggles. Instead of focusing on a new place here on their earth, focus upon what God has in store for you.
Put your heart upon being with God for eternity in heaven, the best place possible. God is preparing the perfect home for you right now. It will only be a matter of time before you get to go to that new home.
Do not focus upon the temporary places of this earth, that will fade away, but upon God and His kingdom. You belong to God and He will give you the best in the end.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you a vision of what He has prepared for you; that you will trust God’s promises to you; that you will not get discouraged with the temporary things of this earth; and that you will live to please God.