Day 323

Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2

Good For You!

James 2:18b – “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

Faith is invisible thought until actions make it apparent. Remember the trick of writing a secret message on paper with lemon juice? Once dried, it is undetectable, and the message shows only when revealed by a light or heat source. Perhaps this process illustrates in part what James teaches about faith. It is only through our sincere efforts on behalf of others that our own message of love for our God is revealed.

An honest, true faith requires legitimate authenticity. Hollow, empty promises of prayer rather than compassionate prayer-in-action are phony and fool no one. Serving in the soup kitchen line to be seen is the right deed but wrong motive. The all-knowing Father is certainly not duped.

Good works complete a true, living faith (from James 2:22). As Paul points out in Galatians 5:22-23, those who belong to Christ Jesus and live by the Holy Spirit can’t help but demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit. Good works fall from good faith: the tree must be tended and cultivated in order to produce.

“Good for you!” Our outward expression of faith, putting belief into motion, has reciprocal benefit. As you give, so shall you receive. Works are not the basis of salvation but the resultant reaction to one’s faith (Ephesians 2:10).  As we help God’s people according to His plan, our hearts are turned all the nearer to Him. Our faith and acts become so intertwined that we can no longer find the starting point… without going back 2000 years to the Cross and Christ Himself.

“…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” – Galatians 5:6

Laurie Mealor
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL