Posted by Billy Knieriem on Friday, September 23, 2016
This week's lesson titled, "Say Something...Do Something," focused on our responsibility as believers to step up and do something! The question was asked, "What does it matter what you SAY you believe if your ACTIONS don't back it up?" That question was the catalyst for the majority of our conversation this week. In James 2 we are told that faith without works is dead. Not that works save us, because ONLY Jesus can do that, but that if all we have is words and no action, then we have dead faith. We can SAY we believe something all we want to, but it is our actions that really show what we believe. This idea is illustrated well in a common conversation between Christians. One will mention some kind of struggle or hard time they are going through, and the most common response they will get from a believer is, "I'll pray for you." Which, to be clear, prayer is POWERFUL and our way of communicating with God. The problem becomes that often times the phrase "I'll pray for you" is just that- a phrase. Just words. It's not actually followed by any action. In fact, its often not even followed by the action mentioned in the phrase itself! Many times people will say they will pray for someone and then not actually do so. Whether it is because they simply forgot or because their offer of prayer was only meant as a way to exit the conversation nicely- either way, the phrase is often just empty words.
We need to step up when it comes to our faith. Words without any action behind them are just empty. If our faith is just empty words, then it is dead. And a dead faith is useless to the person, and useless to the people around them that are looking for the hope that can only come through Jesus! It's time we stop having a faith that's filled with just words, and start taking some action! Showing love to the people around us the way that God loves us. It could be as simple as saying hello to someone we normally would just walk right past and ignore. Or maybe we start to actually DO something about injustice. Maybe we have to change the way we act or talk, or the way we treat others.
Our actions don't save us, ONLY Jesus can do that, but our actions drive us- they reveal what we really value, what we really believe! It's time to step up!
God has given all of us gifts, talents, passions- things we are good at. We can, and should, use those things in order to share the Gospel. Use our talents to tell about our faith. Use our passions to pursue other people for the Kingdom! Whatever you're good at, whatever you're passionate about- how will YOU use that to share Jesus with someone else?
This Week's Challenge:
Write a note to someone whom you need to forgive or from whom you need to ask forgiveness. Then, deliver the note before the end of the week.
This Week's Main Points:
1. Do not be lukewarm!
(Check out God's warning to the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3.)
2. Saying we have faith is Great! But it doesn't mean much if it's not backed up by action!
(Look at James 2: 14-26.)
3. Real change always starts with us!
(God will be the catalyst- the motivator of the change, but we have to decide whether or not we will listen and follow His prompting!)
Questions to Ask:
1. What are my passions? What am I good at?
2. How can I use that to share Jesus with someone else?
Questions for Parents to ask:
1. What stops you from taking action in your faith?
2. What ways do you think you "step up" in your faith?
2. How can I help you use your passions to share Jesus with someone else?