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Dynamic Faith

James 2:18-19
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. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. (NIVUK)

Faith is not just an intellectual concept or an emotional experience. Neither is it something we construct by talking. Faith in God is a conviction that we can trust God's word about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1-6). To trust Him is a decision of the will which results in confident action. Responding to another person is the essence of relationship. That is equally true of our relationship with God. Although some may suggest that there are two sorts of Christian - the holy thinkers and the practical helpers - it should not be the case. Indeed, it cannot be true.

While some may be more gifted in physical service than others, if it is not an act of obedience to God's Word it is spiritually unprofitable. Likewise, those who have a strong intellectual grasp of Bible truth are spiritually unprofitable if their knowledge does not result in godly behaviour. Those who are truly dedicated to holiness of mind, cannot ignore the practical demands to serve the living God. And those who serve with endless patience and self-sacrifice need the motivation that they find in the life and teaching of Jesus; so that they desire to do the things that please Him.

It is common for people to say that they believe in God. James says, very provocatively, that even the demons believe in God! Demons spoke out of people they possessed, to Jesus, acknowledging His deity and fearful of His authority over them (Mark 1:24). Satan knows that he is already doomed, and that the remaining days of his reign of terror are numbered by God (Revelation 12:12). If the evil spirits are in such awe of God's power, there surely cannot be any sort of tepid belief system for human beings. True faith must result in a conviction of heart, and a determination of will, to obey God's Word in a practical way (Luke 11:27-28).

A Christian life that just revolves around sung worship, teaching and prayers is defective unless it results in living a Jesus-lifestyle of compassionate, sacrificial action towards others. So, where better than the workplace to demonstrate your faith? It may not start with preaching, scripture posters or apologetic debates over coffee, but it should be 'going the extra mile' with those who insult you, comforting the despised, encouraging the disabled and praying for your enemies (Matthew 5:41-44). A willingness to stoop below your 'rights' is good evidence that you really do follow Jesus: it will also open people's ears to hear the explanation of why you live that kind of life and why you trust in Jesus.

Father God. Thank You for giving me the faith to believe in You and be grateful for all that Jesus has done to save me. Forgive me for the times I have failed to do what You have said or done what You have not commanded. Please help me to act in such a way that all those around me at work and in my community may understand what a good God You are, through observing my compassionate obedience, as well as my stand for truth. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams