URC Daily Devotion 1 June 2024

James 2 14-18

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 a 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.


It’s not always easy to talk about our faith. Even in a ‘safe’ space, with our church friends for instance, it can take courage to talk about what we believe and how we feel. Chatting about Jesus and introducing the subject of our own personal faith doesn’t necessarily come readily to a lot of very faithful 21st Century disciples of Jesus. In our largely secular world, there’s a reticence, perhaps even a fear: ‘What if my non-church friends don’t want to know?’ or ‘What if they ask difficult questions?’

So how might we broach the subject and be confident to talk about it?

In this passage from the New Testament, James, one of the very early Church leaders is pretty blunt when he says: “What good is it… if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” and he goes on immediately to say “…I will show you my faith by my deeds”.

Many 21st Century disciples are very good at social action. They work tirelessly with people who are homeless, they collect for and set up food banks, help people who are new to this country, work with those who find themselves at the margins of society, work towards justice and equality for all and they’re environmentalists and conservationists too.

I would say that they’re working towards the Kingdom of God on earth today.

This social action can be a great conversation starter, especially if someone asks why we’re doing what we do. It still takes courage to explain that it’s an outworking of our Christian faith, and it’s important to be bold enough to say it rather than skirt-round the subject.

“I will show you my faith through my deeds”  (as James says) is a good way to witness and build our confidence in sharing the joy of Christ telling people why we do what we do when they ask.   


Creator God,
We want to share our joy in being disciples of Jesus 
and we ask you to give us courage and confidence to speak out.
Encourage people to ask us why we do what we do 
and help us to find the right words to back up our actions.
Lord, help us to bring new disciples to you through the way we live today.

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