Faith or Fandom?
This is a photo of a child that I met in a very poor, remote area on one of my visits to India. Admittedly if I’m honest, I can’t look at this image without getting upset. Not upset as in sadness (although that’s part of it), but upset as in righteous indignation. Over and over, the Bible unequivocally calls us to love justice and mercy, and to care for the most vulnerable. It would seem to me that there are lots of fans out there—people who would identify themselves as Christ-followers, yet so few who have actual faith—people who hear the words of God and actually do it (as James 2 implies). I plead with you (if you’re not already doing this)—read the words of the Bible and live them out daily. This preamble is not meant to be a guilt trip. When your life is over and you have to give an account to our Creator as to how you spent the resources (time and money) that he entrusted you with, do you feel good about your answer? If not, then consider today what your life might look like if you were more of a follower of Jesus, and less of a fan of Jesus. Step out in faith.
But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
— James 2:18-26 (ESV)
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