Any day in life can be full of action. There can be more going on than a three-ring circus.  What do you watch, where do you go, who do you focus on? With so much going on and so much good stuff to choose from, what do you do? What we choose to do determines who we have put our trust and faith in. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I remember something I was taught when I was young: “Actions speak louder than words.” You know the type, they shoot their mouth off, talk the big talk, they are going to conquer the world before their morning coffee. But you know as well as I do, it is what you do on the journey of life that matters. It is not where you start, but where you finish that counts. How have you been finishing lately?

Before we get started there are a couple of things we need to learn about how we live; first, it doesn’t matter where we come from we can act in a way that honors God. Second, all the talk in the world doesn’t mean anything until you get up and do something. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. We show people we care by our actions.

Every one of us knows both types of people, some are all talk and some don’t talk, they help. Who do you call when you need help? Do you call the talker or do you call the doer? You call the doer because they will help, not just lecture you. Listen to what James says.

James 2:14-26, NLT; 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?  Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

It is not enough to claim to have faith, we have to live it. We need to act in such a way that shows others that we depend on God. When we are faced with a situation that challenges us beyond our abilities, who do we turn to? We should turn to God. James speaks of Abraham and his willingness to trust God and do what God commanded him to do.

How about us? When we need to make decisions or choices, whose advice do we follow? Do we try to figure it out for ourselves? Do we trust someone else? On the other hand, do we turn to God and ask for His direction? God has the right direction for us, but it will require two things. Following God requires that we rely on His power and not ours. It also requires that we do something that only God can enable us to do.

James talks about showing people who we place our faith in. He tells us that just saying we have faith is not enough, we have to do something. There are many who have the right words to say, but it is those who show up to help at 2:00 in the morning that are real friends. Jesus taught us that we need to lay down our life for our friends. Are we willing to step up to the plate and demonstrate how much we care for others?

Paul agrees with James; God provided salvation so that we can do the good things He prepared for us. We need to put our faith in God through Jesus and look to Him for guidance and direction, stepping out on faith and doing the good things of God.

Ephesians 2:8-10; NLT; God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

How about our life? God has a “to do” list for each of us, good works that He prepared for us. When we do them, obedience, blessings will follow, for us and others. When we put our trust and faith in God and follow his direction the result is others our blessed by our actions. Acts of faith have eternal results.

Are we willing to reach out and help others? Are we willing to set our wants and desires aside and put others first? The next characteristic of faith is action. When we act as if God will provide what we need we are free to give what we have to others. We show the faith we have by living without the fear of losing what we consider valuable. We have confidence that whatever we give God will replace. We act with a trust and faith that God is able to provide for us no matter what we give away.

The next step in our walk of faith is learning how to give beyond what we think we can. We demonstrate our faith by our actions. Only then do we begin to see God provide for us. We cannot outgive God. Try to practice a faith that acts like God can and will provide for your needs. Faith proves itself by action.


Pastor Don

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