Thursday, July 7, 2016

Faith and Works

Thursday, July 7, 2016

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.    
James 2:19-22(NLT)

If you’ve ever ordered something online you have (according to James) done what Abraham did.  No, Abe didn’t have a laptop, Google, or Amazon account.  But his actions consummated his faith.  

When you purchased that toaster online you had to click on the “check-out” icon.  This action completed your desire (or faith) to purchase the item.  Well…almost!  You still had to enter your credit card, verify your billing and shipping address, turn-down sixteen special one-time-only offers that came with your purchase, which, when properly navigated finally brought you to that blessed SUBMIT ORDER button!

You had faith…your actions clicked on all the deed-icons…and then waited forty days and forty dark nights in the ark of UPS angst until one day that package actually arrived at your front door! 

(Who said faith was simple?  Or the internet?)

In psychological language Abraham was congruent.  Faith, down deep in Abraham’s inner being, to possess that connection with JHWH, which he so longed-for, demanded that nothing…nothing at all be held back from God’s pleasure; this included the life of God’s son-of-promise, Isaac. 

Until he placed that child on the altar, Abraham’s faith was only an embryonic desire.  It was action consistent with his deeply-held belief which made faith more reality than just a feeling within; action made faith alive.

On my first deep-sea fishing excursion ever it was my Uncle Marlen who helped me bait the hook.  There was something about sticking the hook into that very tiny bait-fish that made me squeamish, so my Uncle did the deed for me.  He was using his faith; I was still only a watcher.  After the bait was in place, he handed the line back to me and said: OK…you’re ready now.  The blank stare covering my face brought his next dose of reality; he said:  You can drop that line in the water, boy…or you can sit there with a bait fish in your lap until we get back home; your choice!

And that’s the issue with faith, isn’t it? 

It’s always your choice.

For You Today

Whether it’s fishing, finances or getting that flat tire fixed, wishing, hoping, planning, dreaming and waiting are all part of faith…but it’s all pretty much dead unless you are willing to get involved.

So…what’s holding you back?

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[i] Title Image: By Illustrators of Henry Davenport Northrop’s 1894 Treasures of the Bible [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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