“Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” James 2:15-17(KJV)
We can experience the power of genuine faith when Christ is the core of our faith. With Christ at the center of our lives, God begins to share our character so that we begin to reflect the image of His Son. The final question to ask if we are to experience the power of genuine faith is: What will be the contribution of my faith? James tells us that faith without works is dead and useless. While good works cannot produce saving faith, they do demonstrate the genuineness of faith and faith’s powerful impact. Faith has to be more than a feeling or words. Genuine faith is manifested in our lives when we act on what we say we believe. In the passage today, James is giving a great illustration of genuine faith at work. If we say to someone who is in need of food or clothing, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well – but then (we) don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” We must do more than just encourage someone with words; we must put our words into action. Genuine faith “produces good deeds.” James says. Does your faith work? Is it more than just a mere confession or creed? If you want to experience the power of genuine faith, be the message. This is the contribution of your faith. It has to be lived out to be real. Without actions, faith is just words. Karl Barth once said, “The Word became flesh – and then through theologians, it became words again.” Our challenge is to put our faith to work! What is your faith prompting you to do? God never asks us to do something big and great. He just asks us to trust Him and take little steps of obedience. He will provide wherever He guides. We must simply be willing to take the step of obedience before us to experience the power of genuine faith.