10/01/2016 - “faith by itself is not enough” James 2:17 (NLT)
Again the apostle James challenges us. He declares that faith is not enough. Enough for what? Enough for getting merits that recommend us to Jesus? Enough for impressing God with our Christian life? Enough for salvation? No, this is not what the apostle James says. The entire verse James 2:17 says, “…faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless” (NTL). Many times I believe that in order to demonstrate my love for Jesus and my desire for salvation it is enough to just have faith. Period.
When I begin to feel the imminence of heaven, the apostle James grabs the white robe of my righteousness and whispers to me, “Your faith is not enough!”
“What? I say. Stay away from me. You don’t know the power of faith.”
“Yes" – the apostle James says – "I know the value of faith in the life of a candidate for salvation, but 'unless it produces good deeds, faith is dead and useless.' ”
Let’s say it mathematically: Faith + action = miracles.
Let me tell you a story: Jackie (I use her real name with permission) is a mother of two beautiful girls. She is a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Connecticut. She is a woman of faith. Every Sabbath Jackie and her girls are at the church for Sabbath School and worship, but Jackie’s understanding of faith is this: I am in the church one day a week and 6 days at home in the community. One day Jackie saw a family with two children moving into a house not far from her house. They looked different and their clothes were different. After several days, Jackie decided to visit that family. When the door was opened, Jackie welcomed them and told them how happy she was to have them in their community, but the man seemed to not understand her greeting. He started to speak to Jackie in an unknown language. After several visits when Jackie offered items to this family that they needed for themselves and their children, without being able to communicate, Jackie went home and she started to pray, “Lord, I love this family, I want to make a difference in their life. I want to help them, but I do not understand one word of what they say, and they do not understand one word of what I say. Please Lord, help me to be able to communicate with them. You can do it, and I believe in miracles.”
Believe it or not, the next day when Jackie visited that family again, she discovered that what they said made sense to her. Jackie started to understand the Arabic language without taking one single lesson of Arabic. She discovered that they were emigrants from Syria, looking for a safe place for their family. When I visited them, Jackie was my interpreter. Now Jackie has decided to take Arabic lessons, so she can help more emigrants.
Yes friends, this is faith + action. This is a demonstration of our love for Jesus. Would you like to try?