Faith and Works

Have I mentioned lately how much I absolutely love my church, lol. Recently, I’ve begun assisting with teaching the 5th/6th grade sunday school at my church. I wasn’t sure when I began, how much I would like it or how good I would be at it. But doing it has been such a blessing in my life.

We’ve been learning about the history of ancient Israel. Which for me, is something very exciting becuase I don’t know a whole lot about it. Today, we learned about the flood and the tower of Babel. But after the lesson, what we discussed was about faith and works.

We are saved by grace, through faith, but true faith leads to works. I love when it is put like that, because for too long I thought that if God is real, I had to be good for Him to love me. I thought that my works were saved me, but I’ve come to realize that, that is a gross misconception.

Hebrews 11:1-3 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of  things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by  the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of  things that are visible

I like the definition of faith in this passage, the assurance of things hoped for. Because I my faith, I know that I have been saved by grace and that even thoguh I cannot physically see God, He is delights in giving me the things that I hope for. How amazing is it that we serve an amazing God who delights in making us happy. I’m in awe most of the time.

Hebrews 11:6-7 – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God  must believe that he exists and  that he rewards those who seek him. By faith  Noah, being warned by God concerning  events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of  the righteousness that comes by faith.

One of the questions we asked the kids was, “why is faith needed?” Verse 6 pretty much tells us flat out why we need it. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. If I don’t have faith that God exists and that He loves me and wants me to draw near to Him, then what good is faith? I think we often can use the term faith too lightly and sometimes the word can lose it’s full effect. When I first because a Christian I didn’t understand the different in faith and trust. I remember saying, “I have faith in God, but I don’t know if I really trust Him.” Now I see just how flawed that logic really was. You can’t have faith if you don’t trust.

James 2:14-16 – What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith  but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what goodis that?

I think verse 14 can be really misleading. If someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? At first glance, it almost seems like it’s saying that you must have faith and works to be saved. But that is not at all what that means. It means that if your faith doesn’t transform you and lead to works, then it is not a faith that will save you.

I love the reminder that it is not my works that will save me, but my faith. I often find myself in a cycle of sin, thinking that God won’t want me unless I act better. But then I get reminded that God wants me regardless of my sin because, because of Jesus my sins have been cleaned. When God looks at me, He doesn’t see what I see, He sees a beloved daughter, who He cherishes and loves.

I love how God has changed my heart and transformed my soul. Where I used to be selfish and stingy, I am now giving and generous. I enjoy giving to others, what God has given to me. That’s faith. Works of faith don’t mean you read your Bible and hate it, you give with reluctance, you pray but don’t mean it. Works of faith means that you are motivated by God’s love and grace for you to draw closer to Him and share His love with others.

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