Fruit of Faithfulness Series: Day 25
Welcome back friends! Let’s jump right in to James 2:
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[b] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
I actually dreamed about scripture last night, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does not only do I take note of it but I make sure to write it down (exactly what I’m doing here)
Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23
I talked about this verse early on in the challenge, perhaps one of the first few days of the #fruitoffaithfulness challenge, and Abraham said he had faith and put that into action by offering Issac at he altar. The same is said about our spiritual gifts, in faith we have to practice using them so we can refine them by giving God the glory.
When I first started teaching I would write out everything I was going to say during my lectures and practice it word for word over and over again. The more I practiced it, the more comfortable I got doing it, until finally all that I need when I teach now are the power points and no notes. Practicing over and over again helped me with what I was going to say and how I would present the material to my class. I may have a gift of teaching (technically pasturing/shepherding) but I need to keep doing it because each time gets a little better.
Having faith in what God has gifted you with gives you faith in yourself to use your gifts.
The same works with your spiritual gift(s). It may be awkward at first and require advanced preparation and practice, but the more you are able to use them, the more you will see them strengthened through the faith that you outwardly display.
I once heard someone say that faith is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes and the less you use it, the weaker it becomes.
Consider some ways that the gifts below can be practiced and developed in everyday life..
- Administration- being in charge of a committee in which you oversee a group of people
- Craftsmanship- being part of a group in which you are able to build new houses for under resourced people.
- Evangelism- follow he prompting to tell the supermarket stranger that God loves them right where they are, and that there is hope.
- Exhortation- being involved in a ministry at your church in which you are able to support and encourage and comfort people in need.
- Healing- being on the prayer team to intercede for those in need of healing.
- Hospitality- hosting a weekly small group meeting at your house creates an intimate setting where transparency is encouraged.
- Mercy- being in a ministry in which you can surround yourself with hurting people not to fix them, but to feel with them and meet them right where they are.
- Prophecy- listing to he promptings that the Holy Spirit gives you so you can relate the message directly from God to the person in their time of need.
- Service- serve on one a volunteer team at your church that is needed in order to make Sunday special. Maybe that is the welcome team, praise and worship, coffee team or parking team. Each of these teams are crucial each Sunday.
- Teaching- become a small group leader where you can help teach the word of God to others.
These examples are just examples in a church setting, in our career we can use these gifts also. While all of these gifts seem unique on the surface, they have two main things in common. They are about other people ,and they are rooted in love.
Through faithfulness we show our love.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:2
Faith without love is nothing. We are faithful because we are loving.
It is not a coincidence that 1 Corinthians 12 which is about spiritual gifts is followed by 1 Corinthians 13 which is about Love.
In Sunday’s post I asked you why can we display faithfulness in one area of life and not in another, and I think I might have an answer.
Where there is no faithfulness, there is no love.
I asked that because I am struggling with a personal issue of being faithful to eat healthy and treat my body with kindness. I didn’t understand why I am faithful to write everyday for this challenge and stick to it, meanwhile I do the same “new week, back on the wagon” dance every Monday because I fail to stick with healthy eating and let myself down over and over again.
What is the missing link between being faithful and practicing faith? Love. When love is absent I can’t stick to my diet and exercise plan because that commitment is an investment of Love. You love yourself enough to stay faithful (and committed) to what you say you are going to do.
This writing challenge is different. I am faithful and committed because I love you, the reader. I also am faithful to write because it is one of my spiritual gifts (exhortation) that gets stronger when it is used more because it brings glory to God.
Snap this is another super long post. I just had a stream of revelation given to me by the Holy Spirit so forgive me for the long post. I am just so overwhelmed with how simple faithfulness becomes when there is love. You probably already know this as I did too, but for some reason it clicked differently for me today.
To be good stewards of God’s grace requires the love of ourselves and the love of others. (with grace defined as ,”unmerited favor”) Using our spiritual gifts to express love to others is an expression of the love of our Heavenly Father.
Sweet friends, your challenge is simple today, express love to another person through one of your spiritual gits today. We are able to love others because of the love Jesus has for us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
We are given unique and powerful ways of expressing this love through our spiritual gifts. So go gift someone with your love today! Continued love builds faithfulness so why not make this an everyday thing to express your love for others using the abilities God has equipped you with!
I would love to hear about your experiences or thoughts on this post, please comment below!