We’ve had a sweet ant problem in the kitchen. They were coming in uninvited from somewhere around the window near my kitchen sink. So, after a few weeks of trying to keep them out on my own, I went to store and bought something in the insect termination section. As the kids and I watched the ants enjoy the sweet little drops of poison my daughter said, “Mommy, why do all those other ants keep eating the poison when their friends are laying there dead. Don’t they get it?”
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17
It was the perfect way for me to reinforce what I tell my children all the time, “Just because your friends do it doesn’t make it right!” Honestly, it’s not just the kids who struggle with this. The desire to fall into sin doesn’t discriminate by age, sex, economic background, education, or years of Bible study you have. We are ALL tempted ~ daily.
We fail when we take our eyes off God and look around to take a cues from the world or others. I cringe when I think about all the times, I have followed others down a destructive path and drank the poison. Thankfully, I didn’t literally die like these ants in my kitchen did, but a little bit of heart, faith and trust in God did which is just as bad.
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 2:20-24
James reminds us in James 2 that in words + actions = Christian. We can’t have just words or just actions, we must have both to live a life worthy of our calling as a child of God. Are you living the complete formula?
COMING NEXT WEEK . . . . something special
I have been working on a Bible study for families on the book of James. Every week (for 5 weeks) I will post one chapter with the discussion questions for you to do with your children, grandchildren or neighborhood kids. I will be going through the study with my own children each week and would love to hear your feedback.