Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Faith and Actions

   “Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what He did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” James 2:21-22

The story of Abraham taking Isaac up to a mountain and preparing his son with Sarah for sacrifice is known by believers. We read where Isaac asks why they didn't have the sacrificial animal with them. Abraham responded with words of faith, “The Lord will provide.”

 James tells us Abraham’s faith was “made complete” by his deeds. When we get into the issue of works, we look at works being the starting point in our journey of faith. If Abraham hadn't believed in God’s providing, I don’t believe he could have done as God told him.

The work a person does is the result of the faith he or she has. I once heard a children’s moments’ lesson sum up this issue very well.
“When we are new in the Lord we look at work as what we do in order to develop or faith. Actually our work is as a result of our faith.”

Click this for a special hymn  My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Monday, February 18, 2013

Live by Faith 

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘the righteous will live by faith’” Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel. . .” Paul states this very firmly. He was transformed from one who terrorized those who believed to one who evangelized for Christ. Today we should not be ashamed of our relationship with God. We had an experience recently where a neighbor told us that he explained that Hubby and I had always tried to help those in need. They had a serious need and, after praying about that circumstance in their lives, we were able to make an offer to get them through this time.

“. . . the power of God. . . ” This is a faith statement. Paul, who down played his credentials speaks here of the awesomeness of God’s Word.

” . . . for the salvation of everyone who believes . . .” Did you catch the wording here? of everyone who believes. Let’s see, if a wealthy man invites God into his heart in one part of town and a homeless man asks God into his heart in another end of town, did God accept these invitations equally? Yes, He did. God makes Himself available to each of His children, rich or poor alike.

“. . . righteousness from God is revealed . . .” God shows what He expects from us through His word and His actions. As His children, we don’t have to guess.

“. . . a righteousness that is by faith from first to last . . .” Because we believe in God, He deems us righteous. We live for Him and He chooses to call us His children. He loves us even when we haven’t acknowledged Him. When we do ask Him into our hearts, we find out how sweet a relationship with God is.

“‘. . . the righteous will live by faith’” God deems His children to be worthy of living with Him in heaven. Until He calls us there we are to live out our lives trusting Him and believing in Him as we walk on this earth, our temporary homes.

Click to hear a hymn of faith: Christ the Solid Rock

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...