The following post, titled 'Faith To', is based on our Faith Series across C3 Sydney's 11 locations.
James 2:14-17 (ESV)
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
We all have faith in something but what matters is what our faith is in. When you have a saving faith in Jesus Christ and an ongoing atmosphere of faith (that we talked about last week), we can tend to confuse this faith as the final goal. But faith is not the end but the beginning; a new chapter of stepping into God’s purpose for the world.
James says that faith and works go together. He is not saying that we earn our salvation by works or should be waiting until our lives are together before coming to God -this is not true. A faith in God should generate works and produce evidence to those around us of our faith. James goes on to say “faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26 ESV). The word in Greek means inert, useless because if we never act on our faith it doesn’t help us.
The man who had a deaf and mute son didn’t just believe that Jesus could heal his son, he acted on it, taking his son to Jesus and asking. It is one thing to believe, it is something else to live out what we believe. Jesus told us the ones who believe will do mighty works (John 14:12). Like sporting equipment in the garage that we haven’t used in a while, we can sometimes question the value of our faith and then something happens in our lives and we desperately need it again. In some seasons, to have faith is all you can do, but in the ordinary times don’t let it sit idle -dust it off and use it.
Faith spurs us to faithfulness:
faithfulness to God’s vision, to what He desires, to His agenda. Paul agrees with James and tells us that God’s people are no longer known by their outward appearance but by their faith, evidenced in love for others (Galatians 5:6). If you have faith that God has called people to Himself and is transforming lives, join His team and get to work. In Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus tells His disciples to specifically pray for workers for God -and then answers it by nominating them as workers.
How do we do this?
Bring good news.
Show them your story of how God has done good things for you. If you can’t think of anything good to share, bring them to church where they can always hear good news. Help them to believe.
Ask God to help you see people you can help. If you see people looking lost or distressed ask them “Are you ok? What’s going on for you?”. Offer to pray for people and do it right then and there. Connect with new people around you, don’t let them be lonely, buy someone a cup of coffee or a meal.
There is no hidden agenda here: just listen and bring kindness. Be an encourager, pay someone else a compliment.
Be a problem solver for people.
If someone is in hospital or there is a tragedy get your connect group to cook meals, mow their lawns, mind their kids.
You may have seasons where you are tired and cut back on serving in the church community but do not cut back on connection with others and using your faith.
Something to talk about:
1. Have you ever experienced a dramatic event which made you really take your faith off the shelf and start acting on it?
2. How does it make you feel to know Jesus has nominated you to carry on the works He was doing?
3. Challenge yourself to do one of these acts of kindness this week and pray for an opportunity.
Click here to watch the online service on the message 'Faith To'.