“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16 NIV)
Faith is more than something you just feel. Many people confuse emotions and feelings with faith. They come to church, and they’re moved emotionally, they're inspired, and they're stimulated. But that doesn’t mean they’re walking in faith.
The Bible says faith is something we do, not just what we feel. In other words, faith is not mere sentimentality. Let’s say I go out on the street and see someone who is homeless and destitute. I see that person is hungry, cold, and in need of clothing and shelter. Would I be showing great faith if I walked up and said, “Cheer up! Don't worry; be happy! Feel good! Put on a happy face”?
It doesn’t take much faith to do that. Faith carries compassion. Faith says, “I’ll do anything I can to stop your hurt.” Throughout the New Testament, the witnesses say Jesus was moved with compassion for people. Jesus showed us that faith is practical.
When we see a need, we do something about it. We don't just toss out a quick “Well, I'll pray for you.” The Bible says we show our faith by what we do.
The world, however, is obsessed with self. But the more you give your life away, the more you take the focus off yourself, the more you serve others with unselfish love, and the more you bless others with your time and talents, then your counter-culture faith will be increasingly evident.
Talk About It
- In what areas is your faith more evident that others?
- What are the practical ways you can show your faith to others today?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.