ODJ: what do you believe?

December 15, 2014 

READ: James 2:14-26 

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror (v.19).

Near the climax of the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a villain shoots Indiana’s father to motivate the distressed son to enter a booby-trapped temple and retrieve the Holy Grail. “The healing power of the Grail is the only thing that can save your father now,” he said. “It’s time to ask yourself what you believe.” I deplore what the evil man did, but he was on to something: what we believe determines what we do.

The word belief means to commit or trust, and it’s used in two different ways:

The weak sense of belief merely means “I think so.” We say, “I believe it is going to rain” when we don’t know for sure. But if it does rain, and if we had good reason for thinking it would, then we may say we knew it. So we often use belief as a first step towards knowledge. This is what James means when he says even demons believe that there is one God (James 2:19). They know that Yahweh is the only God, but they don’t fully acknowledge this knowledge.

Then there’s the second meaning for belief. This belief, that saves, goes beyond simple knowledge and commits our whole being to what we know is true. Paul expressed this higher faith when he said, “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him” (2 Timothy 1:12). Martin Luther explained that this saving faith is “a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times.”

Indiana Jones chose to commit to the Grail, so he entered the temple and retrieved the healing water for his father. What do you believe? How does it affect the way you live before a world that needs God’s healing touch? —Mike Wittmer

365-day plan› Titus 3:1-11

Read Mark 9:14-29 to learn how we should respond to our doubts. 
What do your actions, or inaction, reveal about what you really believe? How can you grow in your belief in God and His Word?