A Devotion Based on James 2:14-26 

According to James, a genuine faith is not only about the belief in Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection. It did not stop when we declare our faith in Jesus, confess our sins and turn back to God; when we become born-again and were baptized. It requires works and obedience as the evidence of our faith.

James continued to explained it more using an example of Abraham’s obedience in Verse 22: “Do you see that faith was working together with his (Abraham’s) works, and by works faith was made perfect (a bringing to maturity)? Working together means that there is a collaboration, a practical harmony between vertical faith in God and horizontal works to people around us. A spiritual faith is a practical faith.

Abraham knew exactly what needed to be done when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac as burned offering. His walk with God all those year has shaped him and his faith in Yahweh. Abraham could have asked, begged and pleaded with God to not let him sacrificed Isaac. I know I would if I was in Abraham’s shoes…

Abraham had such a great relationship with God that he could hear God audibly for heaven’s sake. How much closer do you need with God to ask for a pass?

But I think it is exactly because Abraham knew whom his God was that he would do whatever his God asked him to do – no matter how confusing, no matter how much it would hurt him, no matter the price. By obeying God in this most difficult of task, Abraham demonstrated the genuine nature of his faith.

We say God is love but then when faced with a situation where we can be God’s hands and feet to help someone in need, we often shrinked back and did not do what we were supposed to do. Sadly, Christians often use their faith in God’s mercy and grace as an excuse to to avoid their responsibility to care for others. This is why non-believers label Christians as hypocrites; our works do not match our words. We proudly proclaim our faith through our words; yet we judge harshly, burst out in anger, withholding mercy and aid when they are needed.

Our works in obedience to Christ will verify our declaration of faith. If we truly have faith, then it’s time to truly put in the works.

“Believing and doing are blood relatives” [Rutherford]