I’ve been discussing ways to stay fresh in our daily walk with God… something I’ve found I need so much more the older I get. The first two points were to see things through the eyes of new Christians, and to keep a proper perspective of my own abilities.
This last point is to get in and physically do something to help those around me.
In my first post, the contrast between two possibilities was profound – I’m guilty of either seeing myself as having matured beyond the need to consider the basics of Christianity, or of seeing the Word of God as something fresh and new, even if it’s a truth I’ve known for many years.
The final point in this series is that I need to go out and use what I learn for the benefit of others. I need to stay involved in physically helping other people – meeting a physical or emotional need for someone around me.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”VfL1e” via=”yes” ]Faith starts in the heart, but it also overflows into our actions.[/ctt]
Faith Without Works
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” ~ James 2:26 (NIV)
Have you ever known a fact, but not really understood it until you got your hands in it? Like the difference between reading a recipe, versus actually putting all those ingredients together and baking it into something people can eat. When you’ve done it, had your hands in it, mixed it all around, felt the dough in your fingers, that’s when the truth of that recipe really grabs you.
Offering comfort in distress, providing for a need, rejoicing with a friend over some great blessing – these are things we can do for each other that keeps us active in our walk with God. It makes those great ‘intellectual studies’ turn into something concrete.
Suddenly ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ has a face… the face of your actual neighbor.
Sometimes the older we grow in Christ, the more insulated from the world we become. It’s only natural really – we don’t enjoy the same entertainment, or go to many of the same places. Friends who aren’t saved don’t understand, and perhaps stop coming around on their own. We spend more time at church, and with other saved friends.
Sometimes too, that insulation gets just a little too comfortable. This is probably one of my greatest failures. I get comfortable sitting at home. I work from home, I’ve had years of small children at home, and now I homeschool, too. Often times, I rarely have to leave the house, except for church. In fact, I’d rather not leave the house at all if I can help it. So for me, it’s a great temptation to stay right where I’m most comfortable. But that means I’m isolated from the world, from hurting people. And it’s not good.
I’m starting to see this stage in the Christian life as that moment when God flings the door open wide and says, “Come on out, show the world the gifts I’ve given you. Let them know what I can do through you.”
There are so many ways you and I can get out there and get our hands into the work. So many ways that God wants to highlight our gifts – not to highlight ourselves, but to glorify Himself.
What a neat thought it is to realize that after God offers salvation, He wants us to glorify Him through bringing others to Himself. And what a neat thought it is that God gives us the chance to take part in His work in the lives of other people.
Have you ever been the wonder for someone else?
Doing something for someone else means we’ve become a wonder in their eyes… we may never know it, and we may never want it, but it’s still true. We’ve become the answer to someone else’s prayer, the reason someone else finally understands a truth in God’s Word, the messenger of God’s gospel to someone else. We’ve had a hand in helping someone else see the wonder of God.
And when we have a part in that, we experience a little of the wonder of God ourselves. It digs deeper into our own hearts, bears the fruit of wonder, of awe, of the simplicity of the Lord Almighty – His glorious simplicity.
What an awesome responsibility and opportunity. And I hope today I’m able to be what someone else needs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts of practical ways we, as Christian ladies, can get out into our communities and help those in need.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”wRe2N” via=”yes” ]How do you live out your faith?[/ctt]
God has been teaching me that true faith overflows into every aspect of our life. We actually just talked about this in Sunday school yesterday, so this is so timely.
It is so good to do for others and be an example of Christ to them through our actions. We never know who we are impacting or what goodness we are truly bringing into the lives of those around us.
That’s so true. We never know who we’re impacting. I’m always amazed to hear stories of things that impacted people – one thing someone said years ago is still influencing them in some way.
When I saw the title of this post, i’m thinking about that Bible verse that says “faith without works is dead”…
Yes, I thought of that too. God says so much with just a few words.
as the scripture says Faith without works is dead, I dont want to have a dead faith, I want to be alive and have faith in him
I love practical theology. I want to do the things, not just intellectualize about them!
Amen, me too. 🙂
I understand wanting to stay home, even on Sundays. But it’s impossible to act on all the one another’s listed in the NT if I’m home alone. I can’t be edifying to others, or them to me.
I don’t get out much now either, but during basic weekly shopping, I do chat with other shoppers, handing out tracts, or just being a momentary “light” for them.
Yes, that’s true. It’s important for me to remember to be that light just while out grocery shopping, too.
I just wrote about faith last week. It’s crazy how God can reveal so many things about a topic we feel is familiar. Thank you for your words.
I know, that’s so true! I think what you said highlights again why we all need each other, you know? Because what one of us sees, is different than what another one sees. And all those perspectives work together to form a greater insight.
Faith without works is dead because it comes from a heart that has not been regenerated by God. Empty professions of faith have no power to change lives. Those who pay lip service to faith but who do not possess the Spirit will hear Christ Himself say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers”
Yes, that is certainly true.
My post isn’t about working for salvation of course, as there’s no way we can do that. But about keeping ourselves in that place where we see the things of God as fresh and new every day. That can be hard to accomplish.
Sometimes it is hard to get outside of our comfort zone, but isn’t that part of how God uses us and how He grows us? Being uncomfortable is not fun, but sometimes it is necessary to become the people God wants us to be.
It’s so true! It is easy to stay in our little cocoon of comfort and sometimes it happens without us realizing it. Breaking free of that comfort zone is refreshing. It might make us uncomfortable at first but God will use it. A couple years ago, I was able to take my two older children downtown to a mission where we helped once a week. It is something I miss doing now since we’ve moved.
There is always a way to serve others, even from home.. sending cards, etc.
Great thoughts. 🙂
Faith without works is dead – it’s not enough to say that we have it – we have to live it!