Friday, August 7, 2015

Faith That Works.......

 Here in Mt. Vernon, we just finished our church's Vacation Bible School and have one more week left this summer of Lunches of Love.  It reminded me of a bulletin article I wrote for our church this day last year and thought I'd share it with you today.....Enjoy!


As we look back on the past few weeks of Vacation Bible School and Lunches of Love, it becomes so evident that our church and the community of Mt. Vernon have just completed a full month of Faith by our Works.  Not Faith AND Works......but rather, Faith BY Works.   

James, brother of Jesus, pleads with us to understand the difference.  He didn't say, "I'll show you my faith AND works".  He said, "I'll show you my faith BY my works."  And I don't think its any accident that he included in the same chapter the Act of Favoritism.  

We all do it.  We all treat certain people of status differently than we would the person standing on the corner with a bucket that says "God Bless You"and their hand out.  We turn our heads, adjust the A/C in the car, change the radio station....all the while choosing to ignore the dirty clothes and filthy hair of the person staring at us through our drivers side window, wishing they would go away.  After all, what do they have to offer us?  How can they benefit us? 

The offer is......wait for it......Eternal Life.  

See, if we choose to have Faith and ignore those in need, my Faith means nothing.  Even the demons have Faith, James tells us.  In the same breath, if I go around helping the poor, serving in the Lunches of Love line, teaching Vacation Bible School and dropping coins into the church offering plate and don't have Faith in Jesus, all my works mean nothing.  All the money, baptisms, church attending and giving to charities cannot earn my Salvation if I don't have Faith and Works dove-tailed together as one.  Kinda like ketchup and french fries.  One without the other is no good.  

Are we treating the person of a different race as we expect to be treated?  Are we more kind to the young and good-looking and reject those who aren't?  Do we favor the rich over the poor? Do we discriminate against foreigners?  And above all, are we living as citizens of earth or citizens of our true home, heaven?  

"Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works." James 2:26