Faith and Works
Then today, I read this in James 2 (NIV, 2011):
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.
16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is dead?
21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
First off, my mindset, and point is action, far more than leadership (which is what the other blog was about). I believe that we all have a calling to leadership – but that does not look the same in each life. We are not all called to be Pastors, but we all have a circle of influence, people looking up to us, and we get the opportunity to lead them. As for action, watch out, I sometimes get up on a soapbox about this stuff.
Action is being the hands and feet. Action is defined this way: something done or performed; act; deed. There is one calling on all of our lives that I am certain of. This call is action. I don’t believe God commissions any of His followers to be lazy. Laziness is against scripture, and it is against the very nature of God Himself. He was not lazy in His pursuit of us, or in His pursuit of His own glory. We should not be lazy in our pursuit of Him, or His glory. By lazy, rest assured, I don’t just mean sleeping through our quiet times. Don’t get me wrong, quiet times, times of prayer, and reading scripture, are habits we should strive for, even Jesus spent time in prayer and connecting with God, away from the crowds.
Lazy, as I am referring to it here, is just that. It is just a 6 AM quiet time, two or three days a week, with church on Sunday. Great message, Preacher, have a good week! Then it fades from our mind, and more importantly our action. We go about our daily lives, not displaying or doing the Word. We don’t talk about it unless someone is in our Christian circle.
How many of you know someone that is hurting? What can you do today? Can you take them dinner? Call them? Send a card? Go to them and pray with them? Can you offer to run some errands for someone that needs a little help? You don’t have to look far to see the call to action, there are hurting people all around us. There are people in our lives that are hurting, and we don’t even know it. Pray for God to open your eyes, pray for courage, and step out in faith. Your faith should be compelling you to action, and that little voice that is saying it’s not worth it, you can’t do it, they don’t need it, you are too busy, that, my friend, is the enemy. He is tempting you to be lazy, he is tempting you to ignore the very calling that is upon your life. He is hoping that you will quite simply, do nothing.
I’d love to hear your comments and know what actions you take. Which actions are easier for you? Which ones are harder? Is it easy for you to hide behind a quiet time and forget to reach out in action?