February 3, 2019

By Faith

Faith Leads to Action

Day 1: At the start of this current message series, By Faith, we looked at the importance of having a foundation of faith, based upon Luke 6:46-49. Read that passage. True faith results in obedience to Christ, which is like building your house on a rock. Yet when someone professes faith but doesn’t obey Jesus, it’s like building a house on sand. That house will eventually collapse.  Think about what types of activities occupied your time this week. Did those activities include acting on the words of Jesus because you believe what He says? How about the pattern of activities that occupy your life? What kind of foundation would that pattern suggest you are building for your life? 


Day 2: Read James 2:14-17. Do you feel the gravity of James’ words? He says faith, if it has no works, is dead. Like the foundation of sand was useless to support the house, faith without any works is powerless and of no effect. This reflects one of the themes of the book of James; that authentic Christian faith means that believers have a responsibility to practice what we preach. We should not be like the person who says, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and doesn’t choose to help a brother or sister in need. What’s one way you think God is calling you to live out your faith this week? Is there a practical need you can meet in someone’s life?  


Day 3: Yesterday we read that faith, if it has no works, is dead. James is not teaching how to be saved, but how to live once you are saved. Works have nothing to do with securing our salvation. Rather, works are the fruit of the new life God has given believers. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. We are reminded here that salvation is a gift by grace through faith, not a result of works. But notice, that those who have been saved are saved for good works – works that God prepared in advance for us to accomplish. That’s an amazing thought -- God has a plan for how your life is to glorify Him. When was the last time you sensed the Holy Spirit prompting you to accomplish a work He’s prepared for you to do? Write out the steps you will take today to obey. 


Day 4: Read James 2:18-20. James issues a challenge here by saying, prove your faith without showing any works. His argument is that it’s not possible. We are to show our faith by our works. Why? Because that’s how we glorify God. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. (NASB). This suggests that our works not only glorify God, but they benefit people. Does the way you treat and care for others clearly demonstrate that you have faith? If not, pray and ask God to help you overcome any attitudes or beliefs that prevent you from serving others. For some, the obstacle to overcome could be a failure to truly trust in Jesus Christ. In that case, ask God to grant you genuine faith and a relationship with Jesus. Then reach out to someone within the church who can help you take the next steps in a walk with Jesus.   


Day 5: This week we’ve looked at establishing a rock-solid foundation of faith by not just professing faith only but by practicing what Jesus has commanded. This demonstrates that our faith is not dead, as we accomplish good works that glorify God. What better way to end the week than by looking at Abraham. Read James 2:20-24. James says that Abraham was working out his faith, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected. Perfected means completed. As a result of offering his son Isaac on the alter, Abraham’s faith was shown to be complete. That is, the expected fruit of genuine faith actually appeared in his life. Why did Abraham’s life produce fruit? Simply put, he believed that God was faithful to do what He had promised. Take some time to recount the ways God has proven Himself faithful to you. Now pray that He will help you live according to what you’ve seen to be true of Him. 

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