I was reading in James 2 this morning and started thinking on the idea from verses 14 - 26; especially “...faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” I don’t know why, but I began to think of a tree, so I drew a dead tree (on the left) and an alive tree (right). By the way, my parents are artistic - I know that I’m not - LOL.
Any way, I think better when I can “see” something so this helped me think through dead faith and living faith. I want to be sure that my faith is living and vibrant...visible to all. So what does this look like in the “todays” of my life?
Frist, for me to actively live faith, I must have no doubt in the promises of the LORD. One that I was reminded of earlier this week is from Eph. 6:8 “... knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the LORD...”. I know that many days we can become discouraged, tired, and overwhelmed. It helps me to remember, when I don’t feel like doing anything, to do the next good thing that needs to be done - cook supper, fix my African daughters hair (which takes so much time), clean a bathroom or bathe a child...what ever it is, the LORD sees and knows that I want to live a faithful life in the work that He has given me to do and He will give good back to me more than I can now know.
Second, a living faith must be a surrendered will. A verse that helped me on Monday was “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.” Will I give Him my concerns, fears and problems and surrender them all for deliverance from them? A quote that I love from O. Chambers is “We do not need to care what our circumstances are, Jesus is amply sufficient.” Yes, I must surrender MY will to Jesus for rest!
I was reminded of this next living faith principle today (this really is FIRST) in 2 Chronicles 34; part of the story of King Josiah. From verse 31 “And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book (the Torah).” I must, like King Josiah, have a wholehearted commitment to obey everything that is in the Bible. We must not just read it and walk away from it forgetting what it says. As James 1:25 says “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a does who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” I want to be blessed in my doing and I know that you do too!
See, faith without works (the evidence that we really believe) truly is dead, useless, of no value to yourself or anyone else. But, as we LIVE our faith each day, really live it out through WHAT we do, our faith produces life for us and for others. And also we can answer a very important question....
“WHY do you do what you do?”
As we grow closer to bring our two children home from China, I feel “pressured” by some expensive difficulties and other problems that we didn’t see coming a year ago. I still don’t SEE how it is all going to come together, yet would I change anything about bringing Noelani and Clive home? No, because we know that the LORD told us to do so, just like we knew with all of our other 11 children. God calls children a blessing. So when the trials come, they test our faith, which, if we allow, produces a patience that we must LIVE out (works) - (James 1:2-4).
Why do we do what we do?
Because we believe what He has said and that He is faithful in all things!!!! HE will provide for us. He has given us a good work to do, so today we LIVE for Him.