We’re not saved by works.
Nobody is perfect.
God knows my heart.
I would, but. .
How often have we heard someone say this? How often have we maybe even wrestled with thoughts like ourselves? While there may be scriptural truths in these thoughts or thoughts like these, we have to be careful not to use them to justify our unwillingness to change. We certainly shouldn’t use them to avoid change, discomfort, and/or work. Our faith should not justify inactivity in service for the Lord. Instead, our faith should be the source of all of our activity and productivity.
Since I grew up in a rural area, my siblings and I often helped our parents to plant and care for our gardens. We understood at an early age that if you didn’t plant, you didn’t get fruit and vegetables. We watched my dad till the land, laboriously breaking up the hardened soil. Then, we would go through the entire process of planting, watering, and weeding the garden, happily reaping from what we had sown.
While most of us understand this principle, especially when it comes to other things, such as our jobs, if we aren’t careful, we will justify ourselves right out of doing much of anything to mature ourselves spiritually, let alone helping anyone else along the way. We don’t want to break up that hardened soil of our hearts. Sometimes we don’t have energy or desire to do anything but satisfy our own selfish desires, which, by the way, yield no real, lasting fruit. However, our faith should be the impetus for work, not the excuse to avoid it. After all, reaping and sowing are Biblical principles that work.
Even after planting, if we didn’t water and weed the garden, the plants would die. It is no different in our spiritual lives. Our water, our life source, is Jesus, the living Word and His Word. It feeds us, quenches our thirst, and strengthens us to grow in Him.
I am convinced that our faith doesn’t work for us when we’ve allowed the cares of the world to choke us. Just like the weeds will take all the nourishment from plants if they’re not eliminated, sin, excuses, and laziness can block our access to having our faith really work for us.
In other words, our faith is the foundation. Out of our faith, we should be compelled to do. In James 2:14-26 gives us a whole commentary on faith and works. One verse that will probably be familiar to most is found is verse 20, which reads, “faith without works is dead.” Then, the scriptures refer to Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. Like Rahab, who is also mentioned, Abraham’s faith and his works worked together—they couldn’t be separated.
So, while we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1), we can “then see how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” If we believe in Him, then we will work for Him and to His glory. In turn, our faith will work for us and will cause us to work.
Our faith is working for us and for others, if people see Christ in us. God really does know our hearts. His Word tells us that the just lives by faith. Living by faith is something that shows, and there is evidence by your speech, actions, and lifestyle. In addition, when you live by faith, you get results. Every person in the Bible who exhibits faith is a doer-he or she acts as a result of faith. He or she gets things done!
I’m ready to get my faith to work! How about you? Do you need to get more involved? Does someone need you to visit or call them? Have you been neglected praying for something or someone? Have you accepted that call that God has on your life to do something for Him? Do you just need to buckle down and join a church? Maybe become faithful in Bible study? Whatever it is, JUST DO IT!
Exercising Faith with You,