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May the Lord fill your life with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If God is not first in your life, then something else is (Deut 6:4-5, Matt 6:24, 33; 10:32-38, Mark 8:34, Luke 11:23, 1 John 5:21).

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faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless." (James 2:17)

 

It is real easy to get caught up in the events surrounding us… the economy, politics, finances, jobs, etc. But do we want to be caught off guard by the worries of this world? In Luke 21:34-36 Jesus tells us to watch out! Not to let our hearts be dulled by the worries of this life. Not to let that day catch us unaware, like a trap. He tells us to keep alert at all times and pray that you might be strong enough to escape the coming horrors and be able to stand before the Son of Man. Jesus is warning us about weak faith that makes us drop our guard and walk into a trap. He is talking about how Satan works… he sets snares and traps. Also, remember that Satan is a thief, and a thief’s purpose is to steal. So Satan will try and steal your focus. His days are numbered, and he is very angry and will do everything to steal, kill and destroy and set every trap and snare possible. Our faith is at war and we must win!

 

Hebrews 11:1 clearly defines faith as the confident assurance of what we hope for will actually happen and the conviction about things we don't see. This is the first step.

 

The next step is to put that faith into action. In James 2:17-26, he is telling us to ‘walk the talk’ as Christians. This is the same message from John in 1 John 3:17-18. Both of them are reminding us that the best way to witness is by example, which only comes from being obedient to what Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:1-3 (the example set by Jesus)…

 

  • To serve one another (have you humbled yourself by washing the feet of your enemy?)
  • Encourage one another (instead of being quick to callout the faults of others)
  • Make allowances for one another (we make them for ourselves all the time, but rarely for others)
  • Be patient with one another (we expect others to be patient with us)
  • Always do the things that keep us united as a single body (Christ is at the Head of the Body & we need 'proper' fellowship for the complete Body to work 'properly'), and
  • Love one another by doing all of these things

 

The battle is fierce and the times are tough… but this may be only the beginning of what’s worse to come. We as men & women of faith must lean on God more than ever before if we truly want to be Christ-like (Romans 15:1-3, Colossians 3:12-14). Not only does our success as Christians depend on how much of His Word we receive in our heart, but how obedient we are to them (Matthew 7:21, Luke 6:46, John 15:10, Colossians 1:10, James 1:22, 1 John 2:3-6). Like it says in Philemon 6, let’s put into action the generosity that comes from our faith and experience all the good things in Christ.

 

We each have the ability to help one another in some way or another…. whether it be some form of generosity or just being there to encourage, love and support them. In Hebrews 13:16 we are told “don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” We are told don't forget because it is easy to get caught-up in our own world! When was the last time you reached out and comforted a troubled brother or sister? What would you want others to do for you if you were troubled? Looking back, why was it that there were always crowds around Jesus while He was teaching, feeding them and performing miracles but nobody was around when He was being persecuted and beaten (John 19:11)? Where were those that welcomed Him into Jerusalem earlier in the week with palms as well as cheering, singing and praise? Where were His faithful disciples on Calvary?

 

We need to stop drawing conclusions about the circumstances and start acting like someone in the Body of Christ. Let us not forget the one person who was specifically remembered when Jesus left the tomb (Mark 16:7); the same person who arrived second at the tomb, but first to enter (John 20:2-8). He was also later challenged to follow Jesus because he had returned to his trade (John 21:15-23). This person would also witness numerous healings, the feeding of 9,000, the transfiguration, walk on water, and asked for a bath when Jesus was washing the disciples feet. He would be called out on his weak faith, deny it, and then act out on it three times - each time with more and more emphasis. Jesus understood Peter's faith, even though Peter did not despite being a fisherman by trade! A trade that takes patience, endurance and faith to sit there all day. These things Jesus understood. After the Pentecost in Acts (Acts 2-4), Peter finally did too and became a changed man (1 Peter 5:2-7).

 

Ask God today to reveal what you can do to help and serve in the Body. Whatever it may be, remember to do it faithfully and willfully just as Christ has done these things for us. We are the salt of this earth and the light of this world (Matthew 5:13-16) and all eyes are on us (1 Peter 2:9-12). Above all, let's all hear those pleasing words, "Job well done, My good & faithful servant" (Matthew 25:14-46, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

 

Matthew 3:8, 7:15-29, Luke 11:27-28, John 3:3; 16-21, Romans 3:12-14, 8:1-17, 12, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Ephesians 4:17-20, 32; 5:7-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, 1 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 1:5-10

 

Created Wednesday, April 08, 2009