Faith and Deeds
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 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. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
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? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Its not like it was some really new message actually. But sometimes I think we really need to hear some things again as we forget them with time.
Eyes of faith,
Commitment to action.
It’s the third point that stood out really.
Commitment to action is what God uses to advance his kingdom.
You see, I do have a desire to want to advance God’s kingdom. And I do have faith, perhaps not great faith but faith. I do believe that God can do the impossible and I hold on to that.
But today, I ask myself, what does it really mean to have that bigger focus? Prayer, discipleship, evangelism. I’m far from ideal in the first two areas as well but today I really want to look at the third.
I realized today, after listening to Andy, that I may have a flawed view on evangelism.
I always remembered FFLC. Yet, I missed one of the most important things in it.
See the extract above from James 2? “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
And action really goes beyond just asking. Like Si Er said, people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. I wonder, have I been trying to enforce things upon others and instead of bringing them closer I push them further? Blow up the doorway?
This is something that people would have to want to do. Not something to be stuffed down their throat.
I guess I always had this weird idea that all I needed to do is to just keep praying and then just ask and by some miracle it would be so easy. Sure prayer is a core, but alone by itself although powerful, sometimes, it still needs that extra boost. I know how sometimes when you anyhow huat it will work, hence the need to keep trying. But perhaps it is high time I realized that I cannot rely solely on that happening. In the end, I only get myself discouraged so much.
Compassion. Love. Living out the gospel and not just preaching it. And you know, living out the gospel isn’t about having a clean image or blindly following the rules. It isn’t about being holy. The Pharisees made that mistake. It’s about faith, hope and love.
Standing in the gap is more than just praying and then asking without commitment.
How many times do I pray that God will use me, that I may be the finest vessel, not the second best, but the very best, but at the end of the day, I don’t go out of my comfort zone to go and make a difference, to impact lives, but end up sitting around, waiting for something to happen.
I want to see change. I want to impact eternal destinies. It is my heart’s desire. But, today during QT, I learnt one thing. Wanting and willing are not the same. I may want to see change, but am I willing to be the bringer? I want to see revival, but am I willing to commit to its cause? To want is not enough, I have to be willing.
And I know that God is looking for people who are willing. If miracles are to be done, it will be done for people who are first willing.
I thought I was rather mature in my spiritual journey, but today I realized that there is so much that I don’t know. And I am humbled. I thank God for the three ‘sermons’ I received today. From Si Er, Andy, and from God himself.
Lord, mould me, change my heart help me to be ready to do your will. I want to move in the advancing faith. I know that faith without deeds is dead. I do not want cry for revival without doing my part. I do not want to call for you to use me but sit around and do nothing afterwards. I know you show up when we move, not when we are waiting around, so lead me, help me to be willing to go out and make a difference. Help me to be willing to step out of my comfort zone and go be the initiator of change. Empower me, grant me the extra grace and strength, and keep me committed to your will. To advance your kingdom. To rise up to the all that you have called me to be. Place within me that passion, that wildfire, powerful and unstoppable, spreading to others and igniting them all. Thank you Lord. I trust in you God. In Jesus name. Amen.