White Cala Lilies (Photo credit: Roger Isabell)
Read James 3:18
The seed pod of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I struggled this weekend with this question; “If I sow seeds in a peaceful way, but I do not “feel” the peace within me does it mean that the fruit will not be righteous? Does it still count as me making peace?” I asked God if that made me a hypocrite. This led me to James 3; now my understanding here is that hypocrisy comes when we “pretend” to do something. I didn’t pretend to sow the seeds in peace; I actually sowed seeds in peace. I didn’t fake this peace, I want this peace, but none the less I did not “feel” the peace in my heart.
It’s hard for someone to be hateful to you when you come with an olive branch, (note that I did not say impossible), but hard. I know all too well what it is to “make” peace, but not “feel” peace. It’s hard, one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. I am a person who believes in justice and accountability. Sometimes this gets in the way of making peace for me. I don’t purpose that I have all or even a fraction of the answers. What I do know is that even if I don’t “feel” at peace with the seeds that I am sowing; I am doing the right thing because I am not following my flesh but rather I am following the example that Jesus left for me.
The outcome that we are looking for when we sow seeds for God is righteousness. We know this because that is what this verse says. It tells us what the “fruit” of the seed is. How are we to “sow” the seed? In peace. And how can we do that? By “making” peace.
What does it mean to “make” peace? The word making is an action, it means to develop or evolve. Peace doesn’t just happen; we “make” it happen. We do this when we choose to overlook the sins of others, we do this when we choose to forgive, and we do this when we choose to do the right thing even when it doesn’t “feel” right to our flesh.
If we look at the 5 verses preceding this one it tells us what wisdom is and isn’t. Wisdom is the ability to be able to regulate circumstances in prudence towards others. If we “make” peace but we do it for selfish reasons than the fruit of that seed will not be righteousness. If we make peace because we are jealous in our hearts the fruit will not be righteousness. We make peace when, despite how we feel about someone or some circumstance, we do what Jesus would do.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…
(Read James 2)
Are you all talk and no action? Are you filled with ideas, but none of them ever come to fruition? If you answered yes to one or both of the above questions then you probably have dead faith.
James 2 is how I want to live my life. He tells us that in order for our faith to be alive it must be active. I’ve said it before, and I feel it worth saying again; faith is not faith unless it is tested. To say that you have faith is just words; to show your faith in action is truly faith. To give when you have little or none to spare, to show compassion to someone when they have hurt you; that is true faith.
James tells us in v. 14-17 that if we claim faith, but do not use that faith to bless others than our faith is dead. He goes on to tell us that even the demons have faith, so us having faith is not special. What does make us having faith special is our actions based on that faith.
Don’t be confused with works having anything to do with salvation, or buying your way into Heaven. The only way to Heaven is to be born again and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. You are called to be Christ-like, that means that your faith, like His, must be action based.
If you see a need fill it to the best of your ability; THEN share your faith. If I am cold and hungry I am too distracted by my suffering to hear your words about God’s love. If I was an unbeliever I would think “yeah right, God loves me? Why then am I suffering?” Times are tough, money is tight, most of us have enough to get through today. For many of us there is no “security” financially for the future anymore. But I am here to tell you that we can still meet the needs of a hurt and dying world. Most of us have clothes in the back of our closet that we haven’t worn in years. Most of us have blankets that have been sitting in the linen closet “just in case”. Pasta is cheap, so is rice and beans; we can offer a meal to those that may not have enough to eat tonight. My point is, don’t say that you want to make a difference for Jesus but never put those words into action. DO SOMETHING!!!!!! ANYTHING!!!!!!
03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith (Photo credit: hannahclark)
No soldier when they are enlisted, when called to battle says “I’ll be right there.” or when he is asked to serve says “I will do that later.” He gets up and serves; he has action behind his title of soldier. We march in the army of God. Our mission is to win souls for the kingdom of Heaven. So what are you doing in your mission?
I want people to see Jesus at work in me and through me; the only way to make that happen is to show my faith by my actions; actions that are God based and Christ-like. Too often today I see people wearing the “title” Christian, but that’s all it is, a title. They walk around sour and negative, the weight of the world on their shoulders. They sputter and complain, they take and never give. Well I’m here to challenge all of us (myself included) that call ourselves Christians to rise above the mediocrity that we place ourselves in. Rise above our circumstances, rise above our fears and limitations that we set on ourselves. Rise up and put our faith into action! It’s time to show the world that our faith is a living breathing force in our lives. It’s time to revive that “dead faith”.