The past four evenings, it thundered for over an hour, but we did not receive one drop of rain at our house. Even though the conditions were right, the loud thunder announced the coming of rain, the weatherman said there was a good chance for rain, and other parts of the city received precipitation, our part of the city remained dry. Disappointedly, although it sounded like rain was on its way, there was no action. Finally, on Sunday night, the thunder rolled, the skies darkened, and the rain fell. The grass, trees, and flowers were refreshed.
Just like the thunder, sometimes our words and good intentions fall by the wayside because we do not follow through with actions. We can talk the talk, but it’s when we walk the walk that our faith lives, refreshes, and help others.
Last week members of the Tallowood High School Choir were on a mission trip in New Orleans. Our students and sponsors endured heat and humidity to share with the people. They played with kids in the park, ministered to the homeless, passed out water bottles, as well as sang. Their words and actions spoke volumes to the people they met. As the high school students returned, our eighth graders and sponsors headed to Baton Rouge to be part of World Changers. They have spent their days scraping, priming, and painting houses in the heat and humidity. Because of the actions of our high school students, junior high students, and sponsors, their words will make a believable and powerful difference for God’s Kingdom.
In the book of James, Jesus’ brother reminds believer’s that faith without deeds is dead and unproductive. It’s when action and heart are added to our faith that God will use us to bless and make a difference in the lives of other people. St. Francis of Assissi is credited with saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.” This week may our actions speak along with our words.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.