James 2:14-18 (NLT)
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

James, the half brother of Jesus, is writing to the tribes of Israel. He talks about a faith that was accepted without investment. The person “says” they have faith, but their actions do not follow their words and therefore men see their actions are not reconciled with their faith. God judges by knowing a person’s heart. Man judges by seeing what another does. So faith in Christ is necessary to find acceptance by God and ones good deeds are necessary to find acceptance from man.

Suppose you are sitting at a stop light and someone runs into the back of your car. Both you and the other person get out inspecting the damage and the other person says, “I’m a Christian, how about you?” You respond you are and as soon as you do the other person says, “that’s great, I guess all if forgiven?” They get back into their car and they drive off leaving you there looking at the dents and scrapes on your car. It seems the other person was only saying they were a Christian to get out of their responsibility to pay for the damages. They didn’t take responsibility nor were they repentant in any way. The driver of the damaged car is now left to feel they could not be a Christian or they would have taken responsibility for their actions. But God knows both of their hearts and He alone is the judge of their faith. But what good does it do for others to have faith, and not follow God’s word? It leaves a bad impression for the person who has been wronged. Therefore faith needs good deeds to be evident. How can one show their faith to others if there are no good deeds? Pray the good deeds of your life will be evident to others. Pray your faith will be strengthened as you practice the word of God. Give praise to a God who knows our hearts and knows where our faith lies.