by Neil Anderson

 

April 28
 
ACTIVE FAITH
 
James 2:18 
You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works
 
When my son Karl was just a toddler, I would stand him up on the table and call for him to jump from the table into my arms. Did Karl believe I would catch him? Yes. How did I know he believed? Because he jumped. Suppose he wouldn't jump. "Do you believe I will catch you, Karl?" I might coax, and he may nod yes. But if he never jumps, does he really believe I will catch him? No. Faith is active, not passive. Faith takes a stand. Faith makes a move. Faith speaks up.
 
There are a lot of Christians who claim to have great faith in God but are spiritually lethargic and don't do anything. Faith without action is not faith; it's dead, meaningless (James 2:17, 18)! If it isn't expressed, it isn't faith. In order to believe God and His Word, we must do what He says. If you don't do what He says, you don't really believe Him. Faith and action are inseparable.
 
Sadly, one of the common pictures of the church today is of a group of people with an assumed faith but little action. We're thankful that our sins are forgiven and that Jesus is preparing a place in heaven for us, but we're basically cowering in fear and defeat in the world, just hanging on until the rapture. We treat the church as if it's a hospital. We get together to compare wounds and hold each other's hands, yearning for Jesus to come take us away.
 
The church is not a hospital; it's a military outpost under orders to storm the gates of hell. Every believer is on active duty, called to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20). Thankfully the church has an infirmary where we can minister to the weak and wounded, and that ministry is necessary. But our real purpose is to be change agents in the world, taking a stand, living by faith, and accomplishing something for God. You can say you believe God and His Word. But if you are not actively involved in His plan, are you really a mature believer?
 
Prayer: Lord, if I'm not moving forward by faith and taking ground today, I'm only treading water or slipping backward. Nudge me forward today, Lord.

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