Today's Devotional

Faith (15 September)

To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see. . . . It was faith that made Noah hear God's warnings about things in the future that he could not see. He obeyed God and built a boat in which he and his family were saved. As a result, the world was condemned, and Noah received from God the righteousness that comes by faith.
Hebrews 11:1, 7
So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.
James 2:17

Faith is not just some abstract idea. The writer of Hebrews describes it with terms that speak of certainty, proof, evidence. Faith is concrete, the kind of undeniable proof that would be demanded by a judge in a court of law. There is no case without it.

The faith that God has given us for our life here on earth is something that one can see, hear, taste, or feel. It has substance, a thing that is truly attainable.

James tells us that faith is dead or non-existent without actions to go along with it. It is actually our actions, our works, that change faith from something intangible into certain evidence. It is the works that endow faith with life.

Noah, despite the mockery of the crowds and the doubts of his family, obeyed God, took the step of faith and began to build the ark, which became the substance of his faith. The building tools and the wood that he used to build the ark were the concrete materials that would actualize his faith. God had promised him and his family delivery from death. Together with his family and every living species, Noah would enter into the completed ark and be preserved alive. He could not see the future, yet his faith gave him the hope and the realization that what God had said was true. It was his trust in and obedience to God that enabled Noah to actualize his faith by building the ark. When the rains came and the floods inundated the world, the evidence was very concrete to Noah. His faith was counted to him as righteousness.

Noah exercised his faith by trusting God and actively obeying his instructions. He did not just sit by and expect God to deliver him and his family. God spoke, Noah believed God and built the ark, and his family was saved. He passed the test and inherited righteousness.

Sometimes God tells us wait on him, and other times he commands us to do something. Where there is no obedience there is no faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Hearing and obeying God's word is the key to-the proof of-faith. Not only in the major decisions and events of our lives but also in the small everyday activities, it is obedience to our Lord and Master that prompts us to exercise our faith through active response (works).

"Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions." (James 2:18)


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