As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26).
Talk is cheap.
In the seventh grade I had a bit of a bully problem. Two large, beefy Neanderthal types decided that it would be fun to wreak havoc upon my person. When they cornered me on the way home from school, they engaged in a manly chuckle while informing me of their decision to cause me great pain.
“You couldn’t and you wouldn’t,” was my snappy reply.
It was a bad reply…in so many ways.
At twelve years old, I was short, scrawny, and woefully incapable of backing up my big fat mouth. I learned an important lesson that day—I mean, aside from the need to shed all your school gear, including the alto saxophone and your pride, if you want to achieve maximum escape velocity. I learned that words are validated by actions. It doesn’t matter what you say if it’s not matched by what you do.
Is James saying that we are saved by our deeds? Nope. There are way too many passages of Scripture that point to our utter inability to save ourselves, that point to the grace by which we are saved. No, no one was ever saved by their own actions, nor will anyone ever be.
The body, devoid of spirit, is empty and useless.
Your faith, devoid of deeds, is empty and useless.
Beloved, God did not save you just for your own sake. His purpose for the world does not begin and end with you. You were saved to bring him glory, in this world and the next. That’s gonna take a little work on your part.
So, as you venture forth into your Friday, be on the lookout for ways, not to earn his grace, but to demonstrate it.
Not to earn his favor, but to share it.
Not to earn his peace, but to walk in it.
Not to earn his love, but to live it.
You’re his, Beloved.