As the playoffs begin, NFL teams are preparing for Wild Card weekend. I’m intrigued to see if the Packers can keep winning and continue their hot streak. It will also be interesting to see how the Raiders do without Derek Carr playing quarterback.

Each team that made the playoffs has a certain level of confidence because of their successful season. But now the coaches and leaders on the team are doing their best to raise the bar and have their team believe they can win the Super Bowl.

If a team lacks faith in being able to make a run through the playoffs, it’s going to be hard to pull off. The Raiders especially have to believe they can win with their rookie quarterback, Connor Cook, if they’re going to have a chance at knocking off the Texans.

Just having faith that your team can win will only go so far, however, as action on the field is also required. A team must believe they can win, which then empowers them with the energy, motivation, and proper mindset to go out and execute. Faith is then followed by hard work out on the field, but faith without action is worthless.

When it comes to our faith in Jesus, we can relate to this process. We believe that Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to save us and rose again. We don’t deserve the grace He offers and our good works don’t earn salvation – it’s a free gift.

But, our belief and faith compel us to obey God and do good works. It begins with faith, followed by action and execution. We can’t just say we believe without living it out.

The Bible says in James 2:14-17 (ESV), “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Today, let’s take God’s Word seriously and believe in what it says. Let’s also take action to do good works in committed obedience to His plan, while remembering the grace that’s been given to us. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus. I believe He died on the cross and rose again. I pray my faith and the understanding of the grace that’s been given to me would compel me to live a life filled with good works. Please give me the strength to live a life of obedience while loving and serving others. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.