Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy, He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy, He saved us.❤
Everyone who of my friends growing up knew I never missed a Rich Mullins concert, knew all of his songs, had and played every tape (this was back a bit) or CD, played and sang his songs in church and at camp, spoke with him on several occasions, etc. People called me to give condolences when he died. Sounds like I was a bit too much of a fan, right? Lol. Nonetheless, he had a song about faith called Screen Door. The point of it was that “faith without works is like a song you can’t sing, it’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.” Having faith in God does not benefit anyone but you unless you apply it and do something useful to other people. It may be as simple as helping someone. Ow their lawn when they’ve been ill, walk a dog for someone, open the door, for heaven’s sake smile, teach your children about God, live so they see your light shine, vote, babysit for a single mom and don’t charge her, prayi g right then with hurting people, send an encouraging card out, whatever you find to do. But having faith is nice for you and that is it. Applying it and getting out and doing some service or sharing what you have is beneficial to the kingdom of God. God notices these efforts and rewards them. Some misguided souls call this karma. It is God rewarding good deeds and punishing bad ones. His involvement is unavoidable. Our involvement is our choice.
“God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” – Ephesians 2:10
My 4 year old daughter’s newest thing that doesn’t make sense to me must stem from our garage sales. We have had three in her lifetime to sell off what they have outgrown and get pocket money for school crafts. Apparently, the selling of things made quite an impact in her life. So, her newest thing is to speak of “not selling” people in her life she likes and “selling” people who may be on her bad side that moment. So, I will get compliments like, “Mom, I love you. I don’t want to sell you.” Or in angry moments of her big brother not letting her destroy his valuable toy, she will pull me aside and say reverently “Mom, brother was mean to me. I think we should sell him.” Of course we had a huge theological discussion on the value of people and all kinds of things on a four year old level. But the point is that some people remain in toddler discard mode when something doesn’t suit them. Instead of putting in sometimes very little work or a few conversations, people will pout and give up and discard the person as they would rubbish and go about their own business like they are the only ones in the world who matter. And quite frankly, I am to the point where I call out this behavior and stand up for the integrity of life. There is of course the u born babies who may be discarded and murdered because they are sent to the world at an inopportune time or in an inopportune way. There is the school “nerd” who just doesn’t fit the “popular” mold and is bullied and discarded and discounted, the brunt of jokes. And there is the brilliant yet vulnerable young woman who was taken in by a man claiming to love her who abandons and discards her when he finds someone cuter or more vulnerable. And there is the good, decent American who stands for what is right and works honestly who is discarded as a pawn to line the pockets of the wealthy and powerful. Enough is enough. Why do we tolerate these people’s behavior. I have stood against many a bully and one thing I know about bullies is that they are all cowards, every one of them. They will fly or run if confronted. They will cower and lie if questioned. They will shudder if checked. They need to shudder for they are wrong. They should cower as they have made others cower who chose fear rather than confrontation. They should run out of town, out of America. People should unite and band together and take back our lives and country. Yes, prayer and fasting is step one but faith without works is dead.
I am not, by nature, detail oriented. I am naturally a big picture person. I have been called a visionary, but I think that is really saying the same thing. It is easy for me to see the big picture of the world’s current state of seeming chaos and craziness and see God’s plan and prophecies unfolding. It is natural for me to see that as things are coming to a head, we need revival and restoration because we don’t have much time to win lost souls and save as many people as we can for their and our and of course God’ sake and purpose. All of that comes easily to me, as naturally as walking. Let me be clear, that is not bragging, it’s stating facts. And let me be more clear, it is often a great hindrance to clarity. You who are detail oriented, I give the greatest honor because you see things that I just simply don’t. You give certain things their due value and I often overlook it. You can see how to accomplish an event that I see in my head but don’t know how to carry out and I have a lot of respect for that. So, in honor of my husband and some very good friends, I am attempting to delve into your detailed world and be practical on a new level in order to pursue further this idea of revival and restoration and repentance of us followers of Jesus Christ. So, here are some specific steps we can take to start this right where we are. Please be patient with me… Not used to thinking detailed… 🙂
1. Pray whenever you think of it with specific prayers. If you are out of the habit of praying, write a note and put it on your mirror or computer screen to remind you to pray when you see it. Prayer can be as simple as “Lord, help!” or as long as a politician’s acceptance speech. The key thing is that you remember that God will always hear your prayer and that praying is coming face to face with Him to praise Him or ask Him for your needs. If you are as specific as possible, you will know when He has answered your prayer and there is more power in the prayer.
2. Read at least one chapter a day of your Bible. There are free downloads for your mobile device or free Bible gateway online (or others) or you have a manual Bible at home. If possible, get an easy to read version so it is easier to appreciate and digest and enjoy. The Bible is God’s entire plan for the world, the entire handbook for life, very interesting stories, and very detailed instruction on matters such as prayer, worship, meditation, the life and scope and teachings of Jesus Christ, etc. Without this reading every day, the Word, which is our only offensive weapon against the enemy’s attacks, will be lacking. We will be weak without our Biblical fuel and we will be ignorant and easily duped unless we know our Bible.
3. Be proactive and never lazy. If you see a need, do your best to fill it or find someone who can. Often our best witness to an evil world is being the light of caring and goodness. People see selfishness every day or more often. If we are selfish, we will not stand out in this dark world. I am talking about action and not rhetoric. Faith without works is dead. Let me pray with you is only step one, people. Yes, do pray with them. Then on to step two, what can I do to help? What do you need? If your prayer and devotional (Bible reading) is going strong and you are saved, the Holy Spirit will help you help the other person. Be reachable. Don’t be or look so busy or self absorbed that people don’t want to approach you. Don’t look too busy to keep people away because you are scared or lazy or don’t want to get involved. Christ was very involved, always engaged. His Spirit will guide and strengthen you to want to do the right thing and empower you to do it.
4. Don’t ever assume that people around you are saved or really understand what that should look like. If you are doing the above 3 things, you have a window of opportunity to be a voice of truth to them about their salvation and God’s kingdom of peace and joy. Many people may have never actually opened a Bible themselves and may know some words but not understand them to say them back. Most people think Christ followers look and act like everybody else so much that they don’t see the importance of attending a church service or being a Christ follower at all. “Why should I?” is their question. This is valid because so many of us have become so watered down and lazy and sinful and selfish and proud that we look just like the bad guys and it becomes a game of comparisons to each other rather than to a standard of holiness. So, first we must be holy, then we can open our mouths and talk real salvation to them and how God intended it to be. And please, for the sake of humanity, be joyful and peaceful and try to emulate the fruits of the Spirit. Memorize the fruits of the Spirit list and meditate on it often. A sad, mopey Christ follower is a contradiction in terms. People don’t need to know what you still need help working out with the Lord… They need Jesus. We are to represent Christ to the world and it is high time we take our real and most important job seriously. We can initiate incredible changes with these steps. I challenge you to see if I am right.