I’ve never seen a pig fly, but occasionally, I’ll use some unusual phrase like this when trying to prove a point to my kids or give them an answer in a sarcastic kind of way. At the same time, when I ask you if faith is something we should be able to see, you may be inclined to say, “Well, can pigs fly?” In this case, I’d say, “Yes.” This pig called faith can fly and you should be able to see it!
We just finished our summer study through the book of James by focusing on the overarching idea that our faith should be made visible. Visible faith is a core theme of James, and actually, it’s a core part of the Bible as a whole. We can easily mistake faith to be some internal way of thinking, but true faith will actually manifest itself with visible action… Thus faith is made visible. As we navigated through this study, we hit on several big ideas regarding faith being made visible. Below you’ll find a brief recap of this series, so take a minute to consider which one or two big ideas God may want to use as a driving force in your life for the rest of this year.
James 1:19-27… Read AND Respond to the Bible… We have the Bible not so we can simply read it as a book and consume more information. Instead, the Bible shows us God’s will and calls us to respond in obedience.
James 1:1-18, 5:7-19… Circumstances change, but God doesn’t… We can’t control life, but we can choose to trust in the One who is in control. We may or may not like our circumstances, but God will always use them to move us forward, tell our story, and bring Him glory.
James 2:1-13/5:1-6… Your perspectives can hinder someone’s progress... Without realizing it, we can easily play favorites and show partiality toward various people. We need to stay open to God’s promptings and remember that God works through His church (the people) to bring others back to Him.
James 2:14-15… Real faith shows up in real life… We can talk about our faith all day long, but our faith should influence the way we live, work, and play. Faith that is real will make a difference in all areas of our lives.
James 3:1-12… Words are always working… The old saying about words never hurting couldn’t be further from the truth. Our words do matter, so we must be aware of the power our words possess both to build up and tear down.
James 4:1-12… Tension doesn’t have to takeover… Sometimes we unintentionally invite tension into our lives because of our choices, but when tension arises, it does not have to be the driving force of our actions. Tension is our invitation to know and seek God more carefully.
James 4:13-17… Make the most of the moment… Planning can be a good thing, but if our planning ahead causes us to miss out on the present moment, then we need to realize we are holding our plans too tightly.