Fall has always been my favorite time of year. The temperature’s cooling, the leaves falling, the baseball postseason starting, and Thanksgiving arriving. It’s just a wonderful combination of nature’s beauty and spending more time with friends and family. It’s also the joy of knowing that Christmas is right around the corner. Sometimes with things, however, there can be a slight downside, especially every two years, if you know what I mean.
It seems almost every commercial, billboard, and advertisement is one candidate attacking another. Negative comment after negative comment. So much anger. So much hatred. It’s so disappointing to see. In a society and world that is consistently trending in the wrong direction, we as believers in Christ can take joy and comfort in a couple of things. One, we see that Revelation is playing out right in front of our very eyes and Jesus is one day closer to returning! Two, we as followers of Christ can be that beacon of light in an ever growing world of darkness. Now, should we perform our civic duty and vote on the issues that we know are in line with scripture? Absolutely! Do we also know that, at the end of the day, this world is not our home? Absolutely! Knowing that this world is not our final home, are we actually living like it and shining bright enough for others to want to join us?
How do we do that? How do we be the difference in an ever changing world? There’s the old saying that we’ve all heard countless times, actions speak louder than words. That phrase continues to ring true today. People need to live out what they say. James says it another way, faith without works is dead. This speaks directly to us believers. A workless faith is a worthless faith. Our works are evidence of our faith. This is how we do it. This is how we make a difference in this world.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-–and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
Do our words matter? Of course they do, but we stand out in this world by living out our faith. James, who was Jesus’ half brother, spent his entire childhood with the Savior, but did not believe until Jesus returned to him after His resurrection and lived out what He had claimed. James later went on to lead the Jerusalem church, exercise great influence in that region, and wrote a book in the Bible! He realized that faith and works go together. That’s what the world needs to see in us. Walking out our faith. The light of Christ coming to life in a tangible way! Remember that we may be the only Jesus that some people ever see, so let us continue shining brightly! Maybe, just maybe, the Kingdom will grow a little bigger! 🙂