Is Your Faith Dead?
|Grace is best defined in my
thinking as the “unmerited favor”
of God. What God does for us He does not have todo. If you
consider, God has the personality of Father, who has created us
and the personality of the Son, Jesus, who has redeemed
us. Then there are many special individual gifts He has
given to us. We might extol extensively on the tender mercies
that God has given to us.
Our job is to pass on to others the grace God has given us. Let this be understood. We do not give to others because they deserve it; we give to others because they need it. If we get thanks for what we do, or if others appreciate it, that is very pleasant. But we do not give to have our gifts appreciated. We give because those given to, need the gift.
When we give to others, we give to God. This is shown in the words of Jesus when He said, “ As you have done for the least of these my brothers, you have done it unto me. This is to say that we who have received grace should try to pass on grace to others. In Matthew 8:10 Jesus says, “freely you have received, freely give.”
We hear too much from some who, before giving, ask if those given to deserve it. No, assuredly they will not. Who deserves grace? It is UNMERITED favor. Did we deserve it when Jesus died for us to show us that suffering for others is a good and true way to respond and also to redeem us?
Do for others because they need and you see they need it. Those who have been given light to see and the mind to realize what they see, those are the ones called to do something, not everything, but something about it. Do not give up because the need you see is so large you cannot fill it. Consider the ant hill. Every ant carries to it a little. This is how Christians should do. If a widow s mite is brought by each, much can be done.
Remember how in the Book of James 2:17 it says: “faith if it hath not works, is dead.” Is your faith dead? If not, spell it out in actions, small though they may be, testify by your actions, tiny as they happen to be, to the grace of God, Creator, Saviour and Holy Spirit always with you. If your faith is dead and without actions, think of Lazarus, the dead one, recalled to life by the Lord Jesus. Let your faith rise up and come out. If you walked in dead, walk out living again.
And if in your practice of doing good, someone will remark to you, as some smart ass always does, saying the ones or one you are helping is undeserving, then answer: “God, I hope so! Did not Christ come to save sinners, help the sick, and poor materially and spiritually? I am a follower of Jesus Christ who has instructed me to do likewise. I give according to need. I am trying to be a good instrument of grace as all peoples and all communities should.”
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.