Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone. Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all – it is dead and useless. NLT
The first response I hear to a statement like this is: “But you can’t buy your way into heaven, and that’s what you’re telling me to do.”
Nope, I’m not. And neither is James.
Jesus actually tells us in Matthew 25, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me” (v. 35-36). He tells them they will argue back and ask when they did those things for Him and He says, “And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'” (v. 40)
I don’t have an exact number, but Jesus also states several times about a good tree bearing good fruit and a bad tree bearing bad fruit. He states that a bad tree can’t produce good fruit just as a good tree can’t produce bad. When He comes upon a fig tree later that isn’t producing anything, He curses it and it withers.
If you’re reading it the same way I do, that means Jesus tells us point blank that a relationship with Him produces fruit (specifically good fruit).
See, good deeds don’t buy our way into heaven. However, a relationship with Christ (our way into heaven) naturally produces fruit.
If you’re not producing fruit in your life, what’s holding you back? Our lives should reflect the teachings of Christ. And as James says, “Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all – it’s dead and useless.”
Do you want to walk around with a dead and useless faith? Or do you want to be alive and vibrant with a strong and productive faith?
Look around you. No matter where you live, there are ways you can step out and help the people around you; not because you’re looking for recognition, but because His love for you should spill out on those around you.
It’s difficult, especially when you’re doing it alone. However, when you step up, I’ve noticed others start to follow.
Share in the comments how you’re allowing God’s love to flow out to the people around you. Maybe you’ll spark someone else’s faith and good deeds!
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