Summary: What we believe - our faith - is acted out in service to others.
I want to ask you a couple of questions and then I want to present you with a challenge.
The questions are these:
Do you love the Lord?
Have you accepted Jesus as the rescuer and guide of your life?
Do you want to be a disciple of Jesus and follow him?
Then here’s your challenge:
Put your money where your mouth is.
Its an expression we’ve heard all our lives.
Its meant as a challenge for someone to indicate how serious he or she is about what he or she claims to believe.
The question is, if a person really believes what he or she claims to believe, how willing is that person to committ what is important to that person to the cause.
In the case of the expression, its money. In the case of our emphasis tonight, it is our time and our labor.
In this letter of James, we are invited to take the faith we have and put it into practice.
James asks us a very important question:
what good is it to believe in Jesus as our rescuer and guide if don’t then act upon our faith?
This poem by Wilbur Rees shares with us what James is saying:
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my
soul or disturb my sleep, but enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a
snooze in the sunsine. I don’t want enough of Him to make me love a
black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the
Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Are we asking for $3 worth of God?
Yes, its one thing to say we have faith, but its another thing entirely to do some thing about it.
The words we read from James says even the demons and evil doers believe in Christ. The question is, what are we going to do about our faith? Because faith with no hands on service to support it is no faith at all.
Its a dead faith, James tells us. There is no life in it at all.
How serious are we about our faith and what are willing to do about it?
But to tell you the truth, though it is important for us to ponder this question from time to time, I really prefer not to come at this issue from this angle.
Rather, I prefer to ask a different question:
Do you believe that you have the power within you, through Christ, to change the world?
The potential really does lie within you, you know. Within each of us. We can change the world.
Reuben St. Clair is a Social Studies teacher. Every year he challenges his students to do something to make the world a better place. Reuben writes on the board, “Think of an idea for world change, then put it into action.” The students who do this will get an automatic A in the class.
One 12 year old boy, Trevor, takes the challenge to heart, and in a big way. He devises a plan where he will do favors for three strangers, favors they can’t do for themselves, and those people will be asked to “pay it forward,” and do a deed for three more strangers, and so on. Thus starting a chain-reaction.
You can change the world.
At The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, in Dallas, TX, the closing session speaker was General “stormin Norman” Norman Schwarzkopf.
At the end of his talk, when General Schwarzkopf began answering questions, a very attractive and athletic-looking young lady approached the microphone.
As she started out, you could hear a slight tremor in her voice,With an ever-increasing emotional voice inflection, she described the PRIDE she, her sister and husband who were veterans of the United States Air Force all felt, having served under him. As a request from her father, she thanked General Schwarzkopf for his past and continued leadership.
She then asked what advice we as parents should give to our children as the next generation of leaders of this country. He said, tell them, “It’s ok to do your own thing, but do it PLUS 1.” That ONE something extra is to help someone else up a hill; be a leader and stay one step ahead in helping them meet their goals successfully. That’s the advice he says he’s given his own children.
You can change the world.
A musician and composer consumed with a love for music, Glen Holland’s true goal is to write one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world.