Summary: Looking at how we grasp divine moments from God.
July 5, 2020
Last week we were talking about grabbing hold of those moments in life which are transformative. That’s a tall order! I know that! That’s kind of what makes messages like this filled with so much fun and anxiety. It’s being alert to when God is calling you to do something. Sometimes we know when it’s our moment. It’s obvious.
To use sports analogies . . . it’s coming up to bat in a baseball game with 2 outs in the last inning with the bases loaded and your team is losing by 2 runs.
It’s having the basketball in your hands in the final seconds, losing by 1 point.
It’s being the quarterback and trying to lead your team to the game winning touchdown in the final seconds.
Those are obvious moments - - - aren’t they? You know it, you can sense it. You can sense those moments. You know it has the potential to be special.
But life is NOT filled with those obvious moments. Moments when God is calling us to do something which makes a difference in our life and in the lives of others. As much as I love watching them, it’s more than fun and games in sporting events.
Sometimes it’s hard to find those moments - and we can’t manufacture them, so it’s more about being open to those moments. So, when they occur, we’re primed and to pounce on them. The worst thing we can do . . . is look back at life, which we tend to do, and have our regrets about what we didn’t do.
Sometimes, it’s not easy to know what it means to be open to God moments. In it’s simplest form, it’s developing an attitude, a character, a spirit which leads us to look for God sized opportunities. And remember from last week . . . God sized opportunities are NOT necessarily those mountain top experiences we all want. We don’t get daily mountain top experiences, we get daily hill top moments.
Moments when we can experience the power and presence of God, moments when we can serve God in ways which don’t seem to dramatically change the world. Yet, they might simply change someone’s life without our knowing it, they may help someone have an extra smile, or for another to see that there’s still good in the world.
There were a few passages I wanted to look at this morning. And to be honest, I wrestled with them this week as I tried to determine which direction God was leading me. I want to read a passage from the book of James. James is a super practical book, it’s an application book, which really steps on our toes over and over and over. James does it in a really powerful way. In chapter 2, James wrote –
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. - James 2:14-17, 26
As we read this passage from James, it may seem like he’s contradicting Paul’s statements that we are saved by faith. He seems to infer that we are saved by doing good works, but that’s not what James is going after.
What James wants us to understand is if we say we have this great faith, but we have nothing to show for it in terms of what we do for the kingdom, then James is really asking . . . SO DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE in JESUS?
That seems pretty harsh . . . but it’s really not. James wants us to put our faith and works together. It’s what Paul was getting at in Ephesians 2:8-10 - when he told us we are saved by faith through grace, not by works . . . yet, his next comment is that we are God’s workmanship, created to do good works.
You see, our faith should compel us to do good works. We should be looking to do good. That should be part of our daily prayer. It’s not so much a prayer of “gee Lord, who can I give my money to today.” That’s not what I’m talking about. It’s sometimes seeing the obvious, and the not so obvious and then taking action.
Why take action? That’s where your faith comes in. True faith will manifest itself in actions. It’s a natural outgrowth of who you are in Christ. If you really believe in Jesus, then there should be actions. Remember, James even tells us that the demons believe, but they obviously don’t have actions.