The Blessings of God
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“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (James 2: 14, NLT)
Please read James 2:14-26. I read an amazing quote the other day, and I would like to share it with you in regards to this scripture. “God blesses us because we respond to Him, not as a response to our good works.”
I posted this scripture today, because I see too often a trend that is misunderstood. Somehow, new believers have come under the impression that they must start doing good works, and that this will please God. That God will know they are not the same sinner they were before by their good works now.
As a body of Christ, I feel we have not really taught this very well. All to often we are happy to see an increase of volunteers without fully seeing where their hearts may be. All to often our new volunteers get burnt out or fall away, because they misunderstood how and why we do good works.
James writes here, “what good is faith without action?” This is a true, as true gets. Yet, we do not prove our faith by our actions. Our faith is in our belief, our surrendering of ourselves to Jesus. There is no proof, other than what God sees in our hearts. Our good deeds do not make us more faithful; our faith leads us into action.
Faith and true belief must be established first. If it is not, we are working from our flesh to perform these good works, we are doing it without God. We are doing it to show others around us and to show God we can change…and folks, this is just not the way it is. We can’t change on our own. We can only change by the blood Jesus has shed for us, it is Him inside of us, that is leading us to change. Doing good works out of your faith in Christ is not a New Year’s resolution (something we can do on our own will power), it is a way of life.
Once we are in full faith, and belief, and trust in God, He will guide us towards the good works He would like us to do. I often feel a pull, or a tug, or even sometimes a push from His Holy Spirit in me, to do a good work. This is the response to God, and by which we as well as others around us are blessed by God.
Father, I pray today that we are working in response to You Lord. I pray that we are not working from our own strength or our own will, but that we are working as a result of You stirring in us a desire to do something. I pray that we are working by the power of Your Holy Spirit in us, that it is You doing the work, and us being a vessel of Your love. Help us as a body of Christ, Lord, to share this with other brothers and sisters. Let us not be so quick to accept new help without understanding where their hearts are. Let us take time to teach Your living word, so others may be strengthened by it, and it become alive in their lives as well as ours. We ask all of this in the mighty name Jesus, Amen
Question: Have you been living a works-based or faith-based life of salvation?