James 2:14-19.14What good is it my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed ad lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith and I have my works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder!
So, I have recently started to continue my quiet times and Scripture readings again. I have been reading and praying, but there is a difference when you genuinely and deeply read and pray and when you're just doing it for the sake of doing it. So, I have begun to really dig deep into the Word again and hopefully my prayers will be of the same intensity.
Previously, I was reading through the Major Prophets and before starting the book of James, I was reading Ezekiel. I guess the prophetic books made me get sad and down because of the Israelites in constant transgression against God and being in exile was no happy story. So I decided to jump into the New Testament which I haven't been reading for a long time (I love the Old Testament). So it's James now and it's doing me well I think.
The above passage strikes me because it is one of those topics that every Christian has fallen into, or is currently and continually in. We profess Christ, "Jesus is my Lord and Savior!" But, what happens when we go home? What happens when we're alone? Do we still worship? Do we still praise? What about when someone is in need of a little change? Do we help? Do we assist elders to cross the street? Do we give up our time and our energy for those that might need our "precious" time? A lot of questions came to my mind when I was reading this passage.
Verse 19 says that even the demons believe. What use is it if we merely just believe? There must be more to it than that if the demons and the devil believes. The works. The action that results from faith. That's what is necessary.
I am currently in this situation. This situation where I go to church, serve, but I'm not sure if it's real. I feel like I'm living this life out of duty as of right now. This whole year has been a weird detour in my life. Transferring schools for a few reasons, being home, and I'm not surrounded by a community of believers right now that can encourage and edify me. But, it's not other people to blame, it's myself.
James speaks to me today because in a few weeks, I'll be ending school, and then I'll be on break until my missions trip to Haiti. But, do I have to wait until Haiti to show my faith? I feel as if my church and I wait until the summer and until retreats to "live it up for Christ". What a problem. It's a messed up mindset, yet we all think like this. Real screwed up.
So I guess what I'm saying is, I don't wanna be complacent. I don't wanna be a bystander or a spectator. Living for the Messiah is not a sideline sport. I want to be a player, the MVP. I wanna do more than just watch, I wanna participate. I wanna be that guy, at the end of the game, the coach will come up to me and say, "Good job, son".
It's gonna be a great day.