Monday, August 2, 2010

Putting Faith into Action

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.  -I Corinthians 2:4, 5

I have a growing concern that followers of Christ have spent a great deal of time talking about faith and not enough time putting faith into action.  We have done the same with prayer.  We talk about it, study it, preach about it, and agree that it’s time well spent, but are we truly praying as we should?  Let us not simply talk about faith, but rather may we seek to put our faith into action.  Faith is the springboard from which we proclaim the message that Jesus Christ is Lord.  By faith we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and from that position of faith we declare that Jesus is the way of salvation.  How could we declare this divine truth to others if we didn’t believe ourselves?  Were we to try that our preaching and our witness would be without effect.  But when we proclaim the gospel from the faith that Jesus is Lord, we are then empowered to proclaim that truth with Holy Spirit power.  This is power that isn’t based on human will, it doesn’t rest with the personality of the preacher, but rather it hinges on the power of Almighty God.

Paul the Apostle was concerned that the church stand on faith that was based upon the power of God and not upon human wisdom.  This is where the church gets its power: genuine, living, active, and vibrant faith in Jesus Christ.  We then put that faith to work in service to the Lord.  Faith in Christ was meant to be put into action.  We worship, work, witness, use out gifts and talents, and reach out to others in Jesus’ name in order that others may come into the kingdom of God.  None of that happens until we put our faith into action. 

Let me share with you something else about faith: We are empowered personally on a daily basis when we put our faith to work in Jesus’ name.  Faith in Jesus Christ overcomes discouragement.  Faith in Jesus can turn the pessimist into an optimist.  A story is told about a pessimist and an optimist, both of which fell off a building.  As they were falling, the pessimist was heard to say, “Oh, this is terrible, just terrible!”  And the optimist was heard to say, “So far, so good!”  Faith in Jesus in Jesus Christ transforms the cynic into a person of a positive outlook.  Faith in Jesus Christ turns defeat into victory.  

When faith stands upon the power of God we cease to function from human wisdom and we begin to function in the power of God.  That Holy Spirit power moves mountains, transforms lives, and wins souls for the kingdom of God.  That’s when the church moves forward and begins to truly impact the community and the world.

Don't just talk about faith in the Lord; put that faith into action by serving Christ and reaching out in His name.

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