Journeying through James, 2:17-20 – Works Change Lives

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? James 2:17‑20 (NLT)

I am really glad that we’ve decided to build a new fellowship hall. Now is the time to pray and think about how God will use it. Naturally, that made me think about good works. I started doing online devotions from James when the COVID pandemic started, and next few verses of James, that I am going to focus on, are about good works.

James is writing to people who are confused about the importance of good works. To help get that point across he refers to the demons. Why? What do they have to do with understanding how faith and good works go together?

The point is this: works change lives. That’s a fact. This is what God wants you to know. The demons know this. That’s why they work so hard at what they do. Their efforts lead countless people away from Jesus Christ. They are organized and work hard.

Every good thing you do, kind word, helpful deed can change someone’s life. That’s a powerful and simple truth. Maybe you’ve been praying for something or someone for a long time and you don’t see any good results. Your prayers, for example, don’t seem to be working. At other times, choosing to forgive, being kind, or being helpful can be really hard to do.

We’re not able to see how God is working in all of these situations, but He is. And by faith, Jesus wants you to see that your life can have a greater purpose. It is hard, because people might not recognize the good works that you do, but God does. He’s given us reason to hope that our good works can change lives.

We don’t have to cower and fear like the demons do. Christ has died for our sins and he has given us back our lives to live for him. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV).

What all this means is that God wants us to be the type of people who are concerned about what sin and the demons seek to destroy. Ask the Lord to show you what he has given you to do. Ask the Lord how you can be an example of his love. It’s awesome that the Lord asks us to pray: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We’re not able to see how God can use the good works we do. That’s for him to know. We are to know that what we do can change lives.

Our Regular Fall Voters' Meeting was held on November 14, 2021. Please contact the Trinity Office if you would like a copy of the minutes. We'll update this link next when we have details regarding our upcoming Regular Spring Voters' Meeting. God bless you and may the Lord continue to bless our ministries!