Friday, January 10, 2014

Faith: Just Do It!

This week as I helped in the church nursery, one little piker (dearly loved by this author) refused to obey. Ugh. She didn't kick, hit, or throw a tantrum; she just. wouldn't. obey. Period. The grandma worker had asked her to "Say, 'No, thank you,' please." In love, she provided countless opportunities to change but refused to lower the bar, valuing obedience (the child's) and  integrity (her own). Minutes before Mommy returned, the little one uttered a sincere "No, thank you" and moved on.


The picture of that puffy lipped child in time-out came to mind as I read this passage for adults last night:

"'It does not take much faith to do great things. Even a small amount (as small as a tiny mustard seed) could do wonders. What you need is not more faith; you simply need to exercise the faith that you have and stop making excuses.'
"The problem, then, is not a problem of faith; the problem is much more straightforward, uncomplicated, and simple. It is a problem of obedience."  (Jay E. Adams, The Christian Counselor's Manual, p. 69).
And I was reminded of those things I would like to change--those areas where I sin against others, struggle with myself, and fail repeatedly. And I took great hope in Jesus, who loves me too much to let me continue and gives repeated opportunities for forgiveness and change.

Lesson to self: don't think about, stew about it, worry about it or excuse it--just do it. In faith. By prayer. Life's so much easier that way (for "the way of the transgressor is hard," Proverbs 13:15). When I obey, God is honored and I am blessed.
(With special thanks to our weekly nursery worker!)
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 
Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:14-26)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:1-3, 6)

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