But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. James 2, verses 15-17
Get on my level. That’s what James is saying, right? I have to admit: I’m not always comfortable with that. I don’t like folks all up in my business. At work, I’m ALL about confronting issues. In political discussions, I’m ALL about confrontation because we might disagree on important things.
Jesus has us here for a reason, though, and it isn’t for work or politics. We aren’t here to accumulate wealth. We’re here to accumulate believers in Jesus, to connect other people to Him. Sometimes we do that; sometimes we mess it up.
Last Friday, I flew home from Minnesota and got a chance to discuss the book I’m reading: “Killing Jesus,” by Bill O’Reilly. It’s an easy, interesting read because while it fully mentions Jesus’ divinity, it treats his life as a factual, news-verified account. The author drew not just from the Gospels, but also heavily from Josephus and archaeological evidence about first century Judea.
The man sitting next to me asked what I thought of the book, and I told him that I was enjoying it. It was a chance to have a Jesus moment with someone, and we talked for awhile. He said he was English, and a doctor, and was going to a weekend meeting in Dallas. He said his wife was very religious but that he wasn’t. He said he was thinking of getting the book for her. We discussed the book, and I gave it a recommend.
What we didn’t do much of, however, was discuss what is actually said in Scripture. I stood up for Jesus but not very well. What a lost opportunity. Thank God that He put this man in my path for the chance to talk about real things with him. I’m ashamed to admit that I did a lousy job at it. Next time, I hope to do better. I pray and hope the man got interested in Jesus after all. Now, it isn’t for me to know.
What’s the point? The point is that we’re put here not just to say we believe in Jesus but to share that with others, to do something about it. Talk about what the Bible says about Him. Volunteer to help others. Let Jesus remold how we think, act, and speak. James gets all in our faces to remind us that we’re here to do something with the faith that God plants in us. We aren’t supposed to bottle it up, or keep it just for Sundays, or share it only with folks like us, or clam it up in rituals. We’re supposed to act on it, reach out with it, use it the way Jesus would. Get on His level, not mine.
Lord, forgive my stupid use of Your good faith. Forgive me, inspire me, teach me, and lead me again.
Where can you serve Jesus in your part of the world today?
Are you willing to do this?
What can you do to help someone else where you are right now?