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  • Writer's pictureMegan L. Anderson

Faith in Action

Take a moment to refresh, refocus, and refine your faith.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? . . . As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:14, 26


While the world came to know Jesus as a miraculous prophet, political and religious radical, and eventually Messiah, James looked into that face and simply saw his big brother. Few people had a more intimate experience of Jesus’ life and character. Who could count how many meals they had dipped from the same bowl at Mary’s table? They had played along the same dusty paths as children and learned the finer points of carpentry in their father Joseph’s workshop before mourning side-by-side at his grave, then co-navigated their new responsibilities of looking after their mother and siblings. To James, Jesus was his own flesh and blood first; faith in his divinity developed later.


How did James move from questioning his brother’s sanity and trying to pull him away from ministry (Mark 3:20) to becoming a pivotal leader of the early Church? I imagine the journey was made by one step of faith after another. Faith is belief with boots on.


It can be easy for us to read scripture – especially Jesus’ teachings – through our 21st century goggles and think we understand exactly what it means. But James warns us of leaning on our own understanding and neglecting to act on the truth: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). 


As James released his rigid ideas of who Jesus was and began acting on what Jesus taught, he stepped into a fuller, truer, more fulfilling relationship with the Lord – one that would define his life’s purpose. If we desire a genuine relationship with Jesus, to experience him intimately and grow into our life’s purpose, we too must be willing to put our preconceptions aside and take one active step of faith after another. 


Prayer: Jesus, thank you for inviting us into an intimate and dynamic relationship with you. Help us unburden ourselves of ideas that may be impeding our obedience. Direct us in what steps of faith you desire us to take each day, leading us along a journey of experiencing you more fully. Amen.

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