The Word for today:
Everyone has faith. It can be faith in the Truth, or it can be faith in a lie. For better or for worse, the motivating principle of your life is your faith.
You may not even be able to identify your faith, but I can say unequivocally that if you show me your life I will tell you what you believe in.
You may not be able to name your god, but if you were to show me your checkbook, credit card statements, and appointment calendar, I will name your god.
The Bible stresses the saving power of faith in the true God. Look no further than Commandment #1:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:2-3)
The Bible also warns about the destructive power of faith in a lie. Look no further than Commandment #2:
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (Exodus 20:4-5)
In the New Testament, the book of Hebrews is all about faith in the truth; while the very next book, James, has much to say about false faith.
James grew up with Jesus, in the same house. (He was a half-brother, due to immaculate circumstances!)
Yet James calls himself "a servant of Jesus Christ." (1) This bespeaks true humility, because James nowhere refers to the fact of his earthly relationship to Jesus.
James had at first rejected Jesus as Messiah (2), but he became a follower after meeting the risen Christ (3). James' practical, down-to-earth "voice" can be heard in the Old Testament book of Proverbs and in his brother's Sermon on the Mount (4).
***I have a faith and you have a faith, whether we acknowledge it or not. I even know a man who says he believes in nothing. That in itself is a faith, called nihilism. And, as Jesus said, according to his faith he shall be rewarded (5).
(1) James 1:1; (2) John 7:5; (3) 1 Corinthians 15:7; (4) Matthew 5-7; (5) Matthew 9:29