Put Faith Into Prayer or Practice?

You can’t work your way into heaven, but can you get there if all you do is sit on your butt and believe you’ll get there?

James asks this valid question:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14

The Jewish people had gone from one extreme to the other. First they went around working like their eternal home depended on the amount of work they did. Then, they went to the other extreme and did nothing at all after accepting Jesus Christ.

James wonders out loud what a lot of people were probably wondering. Does this lazy kind of faith save people?

He wasn’t contradicting the fact that works doesn’t save people, just wondering if a faith without any works truly represented a changed heart.

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 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? James 2:15

Have you ever been in a position where you needed, truly needed, something?

I’ve been far enough down that I’ve needed things and humbled myself enough to approach other Christians and ask for their help or expertise. In most cases I’ve always asked individuals who I knew were capable of meeting my needs. In a few cases I approached individuals I had been counseled to approach.

Do you know what I’ve found the majority of times I’ve gone to these people, head down in shame, and broken?

I’ve found sympathetic ears, I’ve found individuals who try to look for solutions, and in the end I’ve been offered their prayers and little to no practical assistance.

If I had gone to my best friend for help, that’s what I would expect. If I had offered my request up in a Sunday school class, that’s what I would expect.

But I took those situations to individuals who were more that capable and qualified to help. Instead of helping they only offered prayer.

Don’t get me, or James, wrong. There isn’t anything wrong with offering to pray for someone else.

Unless it’s your excuse for being the hands and feet of Jesus and actually helping them.

There comes a time when we must do the work God has put in front of us to do and stop praying for God to send us work to do.

That statement hurts a bit. I’m always praying for God to enlarge my territory. I wonder how much territory I ignore while I’m busy praying for more territory?


photo credit: Maria”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariareyesmcdavis/8074514212/”>Maria Reyes-McDavis
via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc>


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