Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Faith That Works

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,


  1. I’m ready to get my faith to work with you. As a matter of fact a little while ago I began to get diligent again in my study habits. My pastor started this program called "Living in the Key of G (g = generosity) Each week in our bulletin are volunteer opportunities and I have been helping different urban ministries in my area. I also started thinking of changing one aspect of my book club, prayer before we start each discussion.
    So yes I am going to JUST DO IT!!!

  2. Missy,
    Wow! I love "Living in the Key of G." I need to work on that with you. I also love that you're opening your book club with prayer. Sometimes very small changes can yield life altering results. I'm praying for you and with you as we do it together. Thanks for dropping me a line, and please keep me posted. Today, in the key of G--God's Great!!!


    I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day ;
    I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
    The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear ;
    Fine council is confusing , but example's always clear ;
    And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds ,
    For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

    I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done ;
    I can watch your hands in action , but your tongue too fast may run.
    And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true ,
    But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do ;
    For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give ,
    But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live

    One good man teaches man , men believe what they behold ;
    One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told .
    Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear .
    For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear .
    Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence , I say ,
    I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one any day .

    Edgar A. Guest



  4. William,
    Thank you for posting, "Sermons We See." I think it says it all--thank you for sharing~

  5. Thanks, Toyin! Take care and blessings to you~

  6. A while ago, someone was was witnessing to me about having faith in God. I remember thinking "I want to have faith in God, but I don't know how!" Not only did I believe this but I had convinced myself that this was something that I would never be able to achieve.

    I was having a conversation with a person and they brought up the subject of having faith in God. At first I wanted to shut down because I did not see myself being capable of having faith in God. But then the person gave me an illustration that was so practical. They said to me, "Look at that chair that you're sitting in. As you prepared to sit in that chair, didn't you believe that you could sit in that chair without falling down?" I answered YES. They asked me why I said yes and my response was because it has four legs to support me when I sit down. The person began to laugh and then said, Well, Yvette, that is a pure example of faith."

    After thinking about that for a few days, I began to comprehend what my friend was trying to show me. Then the revelation came that just as I have faith that the chair will support me, I can have faith that God will keep me, provided that I allow Him to!

    I thank Him for the revelation of faith and I also thank Him for knowing that faith indeed requires WORK!! As my grandmother used to tell me, "to whom much is given, much is required."

    God bless!


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  8. Yvette,
    I love the example about the chair holding us up--so true! I also think it's a powerful witnessing tool to recognize that we do have faith in things that we don't even really give much thought to.

    After meeting you, I can certainly say that you are a woman of faith. He has given you much, and I know that we will all see much more of your works through your faith in Him.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful comment:)

  9. Marita,

    Thanks for the prayer of confidence. It has not always been easy for me to have faith, but I continue to press forward on a daily basis.

    I have really enjoyed reading your posts on this blog and hope to see more in the near future.

    Take care and God bless,