«So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless» (James 2:17. NLT).
A LITTLE BABY had been born with one leg longer than the other, so the doctor told the mother that the girl would limp the rest of her life. That news was (as it would be for every mother) a crushing blow. Weeping and praying to the Lord, that mother made Him a promise: «If You heal my little girl so that she does not have to spend the rest of her life limping, I will dedicate her to your service through song, and I will consecrate her as a servant for You.» Years later, the miracle happened, and that woman faithfully kept the promise she had made to God. She instructed her daughter so that she would be a servant of the Lord through song, and she imprinted on her life a true attitude of thanksgiving and faith.
That mother as well as her daughter demonstrated the faith they felt with their actions. It was not a dead faith, but a living faith; it is chat type of faith that God wants us to have—one which, through thanksgiving, lives to give. You know, not everyone who receives a clear benefit from God responds to what is given with gratitude and consecration. Do you remember, for example, the story of the ten lepers we find in Luke 17: 11—19?
Ten lepers came out on the road to Jerusalem to see Jesus and remained a certain distance away, as required by the law, as they shouted, «Have mercy on us!» Jesus sent them to show themselves to the priests and «as they went, they were cleansed» (verse 14). Their healing depended on their putting their faith into practice, since they were not healed in the physical presence of Jesus, but had to make the decision to leave for the temple co show themselves to the priest. It was necessary for them to act by faith, and they all did so.
However, only «one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks» (verses 15, 16). So Jesus said, «Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?’ (verse 17). Jesus made it clear with this question how much God is pleased when we are thankful and appreciate the kindness, He shows toward us.
Friend, faith is demonstrated with actions: appreciation, obedience . . . and without expecting to be deserving of anything.