Faith – time to dust it off and put it to work

James 1:22-25″ But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.  But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act – they will be blessed in their doing.” NRSV

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went there in the first place? It’s frustrating and a little embarrassing, isn’t it? Some people say it’s a sign of getting old. Others will state that it means that you have too much on your mind or even that your mind is dwelling on something else. Whatever the reason, I think we understand what James is getting at here. If you look in the mirror and forget what you saw, if you walk into a room and forget what you are looking for, if you listen to the Word of God and don’t do anything with it, then what good is it? In a very real sense, you have simply wasted your time.

What does it mean to be doers of the Word? James, in chapter 2, goes on to say “Faith without works is dead” and “I by my works will show you my faith.” If your faith is true and real and meaningful to you, then your faith will work itself out through your actions. Faith takes on a whole new meaning when it is put to work. We can read the scriptures all day long, listen to great sermons, watch worship on TV, but if we don’t do anything with what we have learned, what good is it?  Besides that, when you do put your faith to work, your faith becomes more meaningful to you.

One of the promises made in the Bible is that each one of us has spiritual gifts, given by God, that are to be used for the building up of the church and for the glory of God. Every one of us has a place to serve. Every one of us can be used by God. What is exciting to me is to see this happen in others. The dozens of volunteers who come every week to pack Saturday Sacks. The volunteers who come each day to feed the children during the summer. The excitement of the youth after only one week on the mission field. A small group working together to share the hospitality of Christ with his children. On and on and on.

When we put our faith into action, we begin to see the world through the eyes of God. Even when we are shy, afraid, busy, uncertain, scared, grieving, depressed – when we do something for God and for others we will receive a blessing. If you are not doing anything with your faith, I want to challenge you to find a way to do something for God. If you don’t know what to do, ask a friend who is a mature Christian or ask me. You will discover the joy of putting your faith to work!

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