Summary: Our behavior shows what we really believe.
“Faith that really works”
“Our behavior shows what we really believe.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
June 3, 2007
If our behavior shows what we really believe – what do you really believe? If you dismiss yourself from church every Sunday – but on a Friday or Saturday night do things with your body and your mind that stand in direct contrast to the word of God – what do you really believe?
If your behavior shows what you really believe – what would those around you in traffic, or at the mall or at Wal-Mart during a high traffic times – say that you believe? Would your language or the finger jesters suggest something different?
The world without invitation will look at our lives – and they want to see something different. Are we showing them the difference?
I heard this week that “sodium benzoate” could cause kidney damage. That sounds really bad until I realize that I have to give up drinking most sodas in order to avoid this chemical.
I could take this news make it affect my life – drink only water. I could avoid this chemical – which means I believe the research – or I could continue to drink soda and ignore the research. Regardless, my behavior is going to speak clearly about what I believe.
Same with smoking – there are a gazillion toxic chemicals in a cigarette that your lungs were not meant to take in – your lungs simply weren’t created for cigarettes – but you already know that – the warning on the package – it doesn’t stop you, it doesn’t stop most Americans. We don’t believe we are in danger – until the high winds are blowing and trees are flying through the sky. Amanda and I were on the gulf coast a week before the first hurricane – Rita – we left – expecting high traffic we left early – there wasn’t any traffic at all. They didn’t believe it would affect them – and by their actions you could tell it, because they stayed – and it did affect them. Your behavior shows what you really believe.
What if people approached church the same way? What if we just came to church, sang a few songs, dropped some change in the offering, shook a few hands, smiled at just the right times, listened to a really well developed sermon, and just left. What if our faith was shallow, and there was nothing behind it? What if when the world looked at our lives – they didn’t see a difference? That does happen in many of our churches today – it also happened in Biblical times turn with me if you have your Bibles to James 2:14-26 (read)
James is really wanting from the church, the same thing most preachers want from the churches they serve – dedication & deep faith. And it’s from this desire -- that can see several things this morning:
I. Real faith is not just something you say
It requires action. I want to interact with you this morning – normally I want to just preach – different is good. James asks a series of questions – the responses are implied – You are going to give the responses – whatever comes up on the screen you are going to say – it’s not hard.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? (advance) IT’S NO GOOD. Can such faith save him?
(advance) 1 John 2:6 (NIV) – Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
John even says – if you claim to live with Jesus living in you – you have no other choice but to walk like Jesus – to take on his attitude, to embrace the suffering, to be in deep prayer. To have deeds that back up that claim. It’s not easy, most things in life worth doing don’t come in a can.
I was at a Boy Scout camp one time and we were setting up our tents – these things were just flying up – let it pop up, put in a rod or two and you are done. There is no quick set up, when it comes to living what you claim in Jesus. Paul tells Timothy: (advance)
2Timothy 2:3 (NIV) – Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Probably what Paul had in mind was a Roman soldier who had to commit 20 years of his life, forbidden to marry – only ½ of the soldiers made it to retirement – he eats, sleeps, and drinks SOLDIER -
a. The world doesn’t want just empty words
i. They can get that at home