…by grace - a beautiful life

“Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:14

Are you struggling daily with what it means to be a Christian and what that looks like for your life?  I do. It seems the more I read of the bible, often times, the more confused I get.  The biggest subject of my confusion is the concept of being saved by grace alone.  While I do believe this to be true; we cannot be saved by what we do but only by what Jesus has already done, I also have a hard time rectifying that with other scripture that tells me that faith without action is dead.

I hear people say all the time that they don’t need to participate in church programs or help the poor and needy because their deeds aren’t a necessary part of being a Christian. I think that using this justification can be a very dangerous and slippery slope to walk along. James says

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder!” James 2:19

Have you ever struggled with this seemingly contradictory theology?

While I will not claim to know all of the answers to this really big question, here is my understanding of the key points and how I apply them to each step I take.

  1. Jesus died for me, completely fulfilling the payment due for my sin.

There is nothing more that I need to do besides trust in Jesus, keeping my eyes fixed on who He is and the sacrifice that He made for me. Keep my eyes fixed. On Him.

  1. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, my life is changed.

I am a new person with a new heart. A changed life says that I now act differently that I did before. Before it was all about me, now it is all about Him. Jesus himself says that when you take in a stranger, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty – You do it for Him. These are the face of Jesus in our world.

  1. What I choose to do each day is an outward expression of the love I have been given.

The sacrifice made for me is the ultimate expression of love. This love fills me and when I am filled up and the love keeps coming, it overflows into my life.  The overflowing love that I am accepting is what I share with those around me. Not only my family and friends, but also those who are the face of Jesus {see #2}

  1. My faith is alive by my acts of obedience.

Just as children learn by watching their parents, the world learns about Jesus by watching us. If we confine our beliefs to only Sunday morning and spend the rest of our time doing whatever seems right to us, those who are observing get a wrong impression of what this life called Christianity is all about. God is alive and working in the world, it is our job to join Him, to walk obediently after Him and be the change we want to see in the world. Taking these steps of obedience will bring your faith to life….for you….for those who are watching you.

We all want things to be different. Many cry out to God to do something about all of the pain and injustice in the world…in the words of Matthew West in his song “Do Something” - “I did – I created you!” What a profound call to obedience. Step up. Step out. Be the change that you want to see in the world around you.

Hopefully, you will find some comfort in my struggle with this subject and know that it is the daily bread that we ask for and receive that will guide the step that we need to take today. One step. Not tomorrow….but today. Taking your eyes off of the distractions that lie along the side of the road is important. Let the rest of it go and keep your eyes on the prize.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Would you like to learn more about stepping out in faith and reaching out to those within your sphere of influence; being the change you want to see in the world? This October 18th 2014 is the first annual A Beautiful Life Conference in Romeo, Michigan. This year’s theme is Simple Hospitality – putting our faith into motion. We are offering many hands on classes that will encourage and equip you to take those steps of faith and obedience within your families, communities and the world.

Join us for this one day life changing experience. Sign up now to secure your place. Class sizes are limited and are filled on a first come basis. Visit our conference page here, or go to A Beautiful Life Conference Registration for web to download a registration form.

The cost is only $55 and includes 3 workshops, lunch, worship and a keynote speaker (Karen Ehman from Proverbs 31 ministries)

We look forward to sharing the day with you!

Tags: , acts of obedience, be the change, by grace you are saved, by obedience your faith is made alive, changed heart, changed life, clothe the naked, Conference registration, do something, eyes fixed on Jesus, Faith alive, give love, give water to the thirsty, in Jesus' footsteps, injustice, it's not about you, Jesus' sacrifice, Karen Ehman, love fills, love overflows, no payment due, obedience, , outward expression of love, paid in full, pain, reaching out, receive love, revival, Romeo MI, , step out, step up, strangers, the world watches

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