Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, September 18 - Active Faith

“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” — James 2:22

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Baseball batters and fielders strive for consistency. Nobody will bat 1.000, and nobody will play every game without an error, but consistency is the goal. One of the best ways to be a .300 hitter or a Gold Glove shortstop is to make the same swing all the way through the zone, and to follow through on throws to first or second base even if the runner is safe.

It’s much like the need for action and consistency to promote physical health — moving our hands and feet every day so we can stay healthy and be able to do what we need to do. When people sit still for long periods of time without moving, joints get stiff and the heart muscle weakens. Plus, digestion is improved through regular exercise.

In a similar way, the Lord wants us to not only to believe in Jesus in our hearts and minds, but to also show our faith by what we do consistently.

The Book of James challenges us to live out our Christian faith daily. It is important for our actions to match our words. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:22-24). Even though we know we are saved by God’s grace and mercy, the Lord expects us to follow through on our commitment to Him with sincere efforts.

The Lord is patient with us, but calls us to genuine faith. For example, Abraham was right with God when he first believed, but he proved that his faith was real when he traveled with his family toward Canaan, and also when he was willing to put his son, Isaac, on the altar (Genesis 22). “Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:21-22).

If we look at Abraham and other believers from long ago, we’ll see them demonstrating faith by speaking to God regularly and representing Him through their words and actions that glorify Him.

We receive salvation by grace with a purpose to live for Jesus in this world. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Are you walking in your purpose and bringing glory to Him through your words and actions?

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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