It was January 1945.
Young Sergeant Russell Dunham found himself and his platoon in a desperate situation. Pinned down by withering machine gun fire, trapped at the bottom of a steep hill, hindered by snow all around and a barrage of artillery fire behind, Dunham made a life-changing decision.
He charged the hill–alone.
A bullet slashed across his back, sending him tumbling. He got back up and charged the first machine gun nest. Kicking aside a grenade that landed at his feet, he shot the machine gunner and his assistant.
Then his rifle jammed! Dunham never hesitated. He jumped into the machine gun nest, grabbed the third gunner and hurled him down the hill. “The captain said we needed prisoners,” he explained later.
The second machine gun nest, about fifty yards away, trained its fire on him. Dunham responded by grabbing an M-1 rifle from a wounded soldier and advancing toward the nest. When he was close enough, he lobbed two grenades into the enemy emplacement, wiping out the crew. Then he started for the last enemy stronghold, sixty-five yards above him. When Dunham had crawled to within fifteen yards of the machine gun, he stood up and lobbed his last two grenades, wiping out the crew.
All told, Dunham single-handedly destroyed three fortified positions, killed nine of the enemy, wounded seven more, and captured two.
Why did Dunham risk his life like that when others didn’t? He loved his country. And on that day, Russell Dunham proved it. His acts of courage earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor–and the gratitude of millions of Americans.1
James tells us that faith without works is dead.
Even non-Christians say the same thing: “If you’re gonna talk the talk, you’ve gotta walk the walk.” “Practice what you preach.” “Put your money where your mouth is.” “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Ask yourself: What deeds am I doing that reveal my faith in God? Do I follow through on my promises to others? Am I taking an active role in the church?
If we claim to be believers, let’s act like believers! Let’s let our actions be consistent with our faith in God. Don M. Aycock & Mark Sutton, “Faith and Works,” Still God’s Man, 380-81.
1 Reader’s Digest, June 2001, 122-23.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17