What is a faith practice? In short, they are the different ways we use our faith or “put our faith into practice” each day. As we put our faith into practice, it grows – alongside our connection and experience of God. If we fail to use our faith, then it weakens and shrivels up. It will never go away totally, but our connection to God and experience of God will certainly be minimized.
The epistle (letter) from the apostle James in the New Testament has always been a slightly confusing book. Throughout the New Testament we read so much about grace. Salvation and faith are free gifts of God, based on grace – not works. This is a core Christian belief. Why then does it seem that the author (who probably is the younger brother of Jesus) speak so much about works and righteous actions? Author Chuck Swindol writes “For James, faith was no abstract proposition but had effects in the real world. James offered numerous practical examples to illustrate his point: faith endures in the midst of trials, calls on God for wisdom, bridles the tongue, sets aside wickedness, visits orphans and widows, and does not play favorites. He stressed that the life of faith is comprehensive, impacting every area of our lives and driving us to truly engage in the lives of other people in the world. While James recognized that even believers stumble (James 3:2), he also knew that faith should not coexist with people who roll their eyes at the less fortunate, ignore the plight of others, or curse those in their paths.”
During the month of August, we have been examining the Faith Practices that are outlined in the New Testament book of James. You can find all these video devotions on our Facebook and YouTube pages as well as in the video section of our app. Here are some of the Faith practices that we discovered:
James 1:5-8: Be loyal to God.
James 1:12-15, 21: Don’t just listen to God’s words but be doers of God’s word. Obey the truths and commands that we receive from God’s word.
James 1:22-25: Resisting, fleeing, and removing temptation from our lives.
James 1:27: Caring for people who are vulnerable, disenfranchised, abused, and rejected by society.
James 2:1-7: Demonstrate Equality (get rid of discrimination and prejudice) in your life.
James 2:14-20: Faith without works (good deeds) is dead/useless
James 3:1-6: Control your tongue. Use your speech to edify, build up, and bless others.
James 4:1-10: Come close to God and God will come close to you. (Draw closer to God).
James 5:7-8: Being patient and wait.
James 5:16-18: Confess your sins to one another.
James 5:19-20: Forgive one another