Summary: Faith generates action - faith empowers the work of the church.
Don't just sit there
Just a couple of weeks ago we finished up on a series of messages that I had hoped offered encouragement for the members of this church to be ready to receive God vision …perhaps even to spark a yearning to look for what God wants to do with us.
Staying as brief as I can, we looked at scripture to determine that God has a plan for the people that have a relationship with Him. No matter how imperfect and even unfaithful God is ready to work with us and shaped us for His work. The process was helped by our being open to God’s work in and around our lives. Acknowledging that God is present in our daily lives. That we live in a community..a church family that joins together to help each other to find our role and direction. Ultimately, we are encouraged to engage opportunities for the E-Word. Evangelism….
Well that went well enough I suppose. Lots of people commented on the teaching. But, there was very little follow through.
During that series every person in worship was invited to sit in on our leadership training…a simple review of two books.
Only a minimum number of people attended. Those that did were in leadership which is great…
However, out of the 4 Tuesday nights, we only averaged 6 people ….out of 14 of our administrative board.
Let me pause to say, I am very bothered by that general response to a session that included the books and a meal at no expense to the attendee or church.
Let me define bothered….It is NOT anger. It is Not Hurt.
I think the word disappointment is the best description I can offer.
I am disappointed that the majority of the elected leadership and none of the congregation in general seem have enough yearning or hunger or even interest to search for God’s vision for this Little Church that is “BIG” on Jesus.
Let me explain something…I can’t make you love God, or Jesus or anybody else. All I can do is to tell you that a meaningful and rich relationship is offered and describe how it happens, and what it like. I can add what other kinds of things come from love relationships and hope and pray that you end up with a yearning to know for yourself for a new relationship or for most of us here to want to renew what we once experienced and felt.
Let’s listen to our scripture for today: James 2:14-24
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
-- After that introduction you are probably already to just get out of here. You may be wondering where this can possibly go from here.
What we are talking about this morning is being the church… doing the work of the church.
Not church work. You know what church work is don’t you??? Having a yard sale or a park clean up day or any other project or meal that we join together to accomplish. Church work is always worthy and even necessary for the church to function: however, it is not the work of the church.
The work of the church is finding ways of inviting people to faith and to ultimately to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
The most important role of a Christian and the church is to be a priest an intercessor to the world that is searching for answers to life’s questions.
We are to live as representatives of God to the people inside and outside the church.
We go to people that are suspicious, board, hurt and any other situations that separate a person from a relationship with God and become their connection to something really big and meaningful.
-- On July 2, 1982, there was a story in the papers and on national TV a about a man by the name of Larry Walters, 33-year-old truck driver in Long Beach California. He was a man with a dream of flying but because of poor eyesight was unable to qualify in the air force or even as a private pilot. The dream of flying never died.
At some point he formed a plan to see his neighborhood from the air. He studied weather patterns and designed his own flying machined.