Real Faith is More Than Words
In the United States, many people say they are Christians. In fact, several recent studies reveal about 70% of people make that claim.
And, yet, many of these people appear to live according to their own rules, not by trusting in God’s Word. What they say about their faith and how they choose to live don’t line up. Real faith is more than just the words they say.
For instance, I could say I’m the best dancer in the whole world, but that wouldn't make it true. And the moment I started dancing, you’d know it wasn’t true.
Just because you say you have faith doesn't mean it’s true. This is what James is addressing in today’s verse: What’s the use in saying you have faith if it doesn’t show up in the way you live and the things you do?
James isn’t saying we are saved by our works. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. But our attitudes and actions should be evidence of our faith.
This is the difference between a fake faith and a real faith. During times of pandemic and upheaval, our response should come from our faith and not our fears. This is when we get to put our faith into action.
There are thousands of promises from God in the Bible. You need these promises to stay stable and strong. But to access those promises, you need to fully trust God. That’s the kind of faith that will lead to answered prayers and a changed life.
So how do you know if you have real faith, one that will stand up to life’s biggest pressures? Take a look at your actions and see if they back up what you say you believe.
As you do that, remember there is no condemnation in Christ. If you think your faith hasn’t been real, then tell God. Tell him you haven’t been living according to what you believe. Tell him you want to do that right now, and watch how he begins to transform your life.
Talk It Over
- What are ways we can show real faith during tough times?
- How does your faith go beyond mere words? In what ways does your life match up with what you say you believe? In what ways do you need to change?
- In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says that I am their Lord is going to enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants” (NCV). How does this verse relate to today’s devotional?
We Are Saved by Faith
James isn’t saying we are saved by our works. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. The Bible says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT).
But, through our faith, God transforms us so that our attitudes and actions become evidence of our trust in him. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).
If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? If you’re ready to step across that line and make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe that you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say that salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. You have the right to call the shots in my life.
“Jesus, I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name, I pray. Amen.”
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.