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. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 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. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. —James 2:18-24

A person can say they are a doctor all they want, but I want to see their track record before they operate on me. A person can stand on a used car parking lot and claim they are a used car, but that does not make them one. A person can say they have faith, but that does not mean they do. People can “say” many things, but that does not make it so. Actions speak louder than words. But it is not just actions either. Actions come from faith. The doing comes from our being. Our works are worship. As followers of Jesus what we do comes out of our loving relationship with Him— “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). God does not give us spiritual gifts (Romans 12; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4; I Peter 4) to keep on the shelf. No, He gives gifts expecting they will be used for His glory as they are used properly (I Corinthians 13). Matthew 25:14-30— Parable of the Talents…

Look at what is referred to as the “faith chapter” in Hebrews chapter 11. Faith is defined in verse 1. We are told that “the ancients were commended for” their faith in verse 2. Then we are told in verse 3 that “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” In verse 6 God says, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Then the rest of the chapter is about the “ancients” and what they accomplished through faith. At the end of the chapter we are told that “These were all commended for their faith.” Isn’t it interesting that God’s Word doesn’t say “they were commended for their works!” They were commended for their faith in God and it was because of their trust in Him that they were able to do what they did!

Now here’s the challenging thought for me. If after my life something was going to be written about me, where would I fall in this chapter? What would be said about me?” “By faith Ted…” Oh, that my faith in our Lord God Almighty be that which would accomplish those things pleasing in His sight (I John 3:22).

Dear Father, may I trust You for those things You would have me do in this life. I am so grateful for all Jesus has done, is doing and will do for me. Out of loving gratitude may I faithfully serve Him. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus. So be it!

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