One of the challenges that face Christians is to show by their actions that their Christian faith is real. Facing trials, dealing with temptation, confronting discrimination, controlling the tongue, ending fights and quarrels, overcoming worldliness, resisting the devil, planning the future and exercising patience are aspects of life that are relatively easy to talk about; however, James, the brother of the Lord Jesus and one of the leaders in the early church in Jerusalem, challenges us to provide evidence that our faith is genuine by how we act in these areas of our lives.
We will consider three of these areas in our meditations this week:
Suggested Reading – James chapter 2
Some challenging questions confront us as we consider these things, which will take us out of our ‘comfort zone’.
Are we aware of any of our fellow Christians, who have need of the basic necessities of life, verse 15? If we are, and yet offer them only words of concern, verse 16, we prove that our faith is dead! A living and genuine faith will recognize that words alone will not suffice – works that alleviate the suffering must accompany the words.
Do we show acts of favouritism based upon people’s wealth and / or social status, verses 2-3? If we do, we cast doubt upon the genuineness of the faith that we say we have in ‘our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory’, verse 1. Even though He was the Lord of glory, He did not show favouritism towards the rich, at the expense of the poor. Showing mercy to others is proof that we have a living faith and enables us to face the coming judgement seat of Christ with confidence.