Growing up in church, our youth choir sang a song called, “I Believe.” It speaks of believing Noah built an ark, that Isaiah was a prophet, that God created the world, in Adam and Eve and so forth. Its a catchy song, one I always enjoyed, but lately I have been wondering, is it really enough to believe?
The Bible says that “the demons believe and tremble (James 2: 19).” Yet, we know they are not followers of Christ. The majority of people you ask today will say, they believe in God. Many believe Jesus lived and died on Calvary. Yet, is this enough?
Is it enough to believe God is faithful, that He can provide, that He is in control? Is it enough to believe He cares and never leaves or forsakes us?
See, believing these things is great and they are indeed the starting point, but I do no believe belief is enough. Belief without faith, belief without action is not enough.
Our actions will prove what we believe, whether it is true or false.
This is the message James was preaching to the Church at Jerusalem. Over and over he tells them that “faith without works is dead (James 2: 26).” Apparently many professed belief in Christ but these beliefs were not matched by action. Sounds a lot like today.
As my kids and I have been studying James, I have sought to drill into their heads like James over and over again. That it is not enough to know what the Bible says, it is not enough to even memorize it. We can know it backwards and forwards. But, if we do not live it, it is useless. What we say must be followed by what we do, how we live. Otherwise, we are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites to the lost world.
Throughout the past year, this has been a theme. The Lord taking me through trials and hardship, showing me my weak areas, demonstrating the places where my actions don’t always testify of what I say. Likewise, in James, this church had faced persecution and trials, otherwise he wouldn’t have begun by saying, “Consider it all joy…” Now it was time, all that they said they believed was put into action. In essence time for them to “put up or shut up.”
I believe that is the day and time we live in today as well. Too many are fed up with church, entire generations are walking away from the church. Why? Because frankly, peoples lives and actions don’t jive with what the Bible teaches.
It’s time then that we as believers live what we say. It is time we quit quoting Scripture and start truly living it. What the world needs now is true religion which James says is “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world (James 1:27).”