May. 11, 2016

Taking A Look At Faith - Conclusion

Continuing with the scripture James 2...

23 And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God’s will in thought and deed), and he was called God’s friend.

Genesis 15:6 lets us know that Abraham’s faith in God gave him a unique position in his day. Dependence on God requires demonstration. Great faith will be tested greatly. Faith that is untested has no validity. Without cooperative action, there is no proof of its presence, its strength or its resilience (able to be stretched and tried and remain intact, doesn’t fall apart under pressure).

24 You see that a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God) through what he does and not alone through faith [through works of obedience as well as by what he believes].

What we believe is more widely known by what we do more than by what we say. That is why it is often said, “Actions speak louder than words.”

26 For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead.

Here James re-emphasizes the statement of verse 17: Spirit-fueled faith will move a person to exercise and act on what they believe.

Here are some points that may simplify and clarify Faith In Action.

1. Suppose I want to quit smoking and am believing God to help me. One cooperative action is for me to stop buying cigarettes. I need to avoid the cigarette aisle at the store. Until I am stronger in my conviction and the scent no longer attracts me, I need to stay away from situations where I know others will be smoking.

 

2. Remember Abraham’s example. Faith is tested when something is dear to us. It may be something we need to be willing to let go of in order to follow the heart, wisdom and instruction of the Lord.

 

3. Doing what the Lord has said is its own reward. Even when we don’t understand His methods or His timing we must have absolute confidence that He is always right. He always has the best plan for your life. He will never give you bad direction. He can always be trusted. You don’t always do what is best for you…but He does.

 

4. Perhaps it is in my heart to be employed working with children. It isn’t likely to happen while I am home sleeping the day away. My corresponding faith-action would be to earn a degree in childhood education if necessary or volunteer at a school, day care or children’s hospital. God can open the door all day long but if I am at home asleep and the open door is at the volunteer center He told me to go to, I will miss the opportunity He created.

There are many examples of great faith and faith-verifying actions all around us. As we exercise it, faith will grow and so will we. Enjoy a faith-filled day today and everday!