Tuesday, June 12, 2012
SUMMERTIME AND THE WORK'S NOT FINISHED
Farmers and gardeners find summertime the busiest time of year. And the most rewarding. Work pays off. It provides us with beauty, bounty, and good health. In the spiritual sense, working for the Lord gives us joy, and a sense of satisfaction in knowing we did the best we could for Him.
I’m going on a four-day jaunt up the Gunflint Trail in northeast Minnesota with family. This will be a time of relaxing, yet being open to work for the Lord there, too. I look forward to opportunities to spread His love and peace. May you be open to them as well.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Faith and Works
A friend of mine recently lost her husband to Alzheimer’s disease. Although he will be missed by his family and friends, they have the biblical assurance that he’s now living in heaven with his Lord. His life was a strong testimony of faith and of service.
My friend’s husband used countless opportunities to show the love of Christ to people he met. He never hesitated to tell his friends, family, and even strangers that Jesus loved them and wanted them to have the same peace and joy he had in a life surrendered to God.
This man went a step further in his attempt to spread the Good News of salvation. Every year he made a list of people, a list which he called “The Ten Most Wanted” by God. He prayed for these ten people. He befriended them, advised them in their problems, and helped them in any way he could. And he shared his faith with them. Through his Christ-like acts and his personal testimony, he drew them to a new faith in Christ.
Every year he marked off the names on his list until, by year’s end, all ten would be checked off. And then he made a new list for the next year. His method of evangelism showed me clearly that one does not have to be a preacher, evangelist, or missionary to reach thousands of souls. One at a time, people can hear the Gospel message—through our words and our actions.
My friend’s husband believed that God would help him reach his Ten Most Wanted for Christ. His faith sustained him in that yearly task and it became his compelling mission—for he was acting not only in faith, but in love.
“Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead … show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:17-18) We need both faith and works to succeed in our Christian life, and the two must work in that order. Faith in God isn’t enough. We must share that faith with others through our good works. Conversely, our good works will not save us. They must come, rather, as a by-product of our faith.
Lord, we ask for a strong faith in Your promises that will compel us to do the work which You have set before us. Whether we offer a meal, a prayer, or a hug, help us to do it with the love of Christ. Thank You for the inspiring examples of faith and love such as exhibited by my friend’s husband. In Jesus’ name, amen.