What Good Is It?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I put the final ink on my James Mercy Triumphs Bible study today, and the phrase that won't leave me is, "What good is your faith?"

James, the half brother of Jesus himself, urges us to not just believe, but to live out our faith through our obedience to the Lord. 

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. James 2:14-17

What good is it if we don't actually help anyone? What good is it if we are merely trying to survive this life instead of thriving in the truth that the Lord has called us into? 

What good is it? 

And I keep asking myself what that looks like in our lives? And I'm asking the Lord too? How do you want us to live it out? What does it look like for the Dalkes? 

We sort of thought we knew. We thought we knew what He had for us to do, but then everything changed. With Brian being home lately, we've been able to really seek the Lord. Our relationship is really strong right now, and oddly enough I believe it's because of an event that we didn't know was going to happen; an event that we didn't plan for at all, but now, in retrospect, we see the Lord's hand and blessing all over the circumstance that placed us in the situation where Brian is home for now. It's been a growing and healing time for us, but now we're stepping back and asking the Lord, what's next? 

And it all comes back to that statement....what good is it? What good is our faith if we aren't actively listening to the Lord and helping those He calls us to help?

I think we're getting better at seeking His will instead of our desires. I pray that we continue to get better that constantly. 

On of my favorite phrases from Beth's pen in the last session of James was this:
I want to keep the poor on my radar at all times and stop protecting myself from the pain and plight of others. 
Do you do that? Protect yourself from pain because it's easier?

I do. It's why I don't watch the news. Have you ever heard that song by Matthew West called "My Own Little World?" It's that message exactly. It's about staying in our own little world "where it hardly ever rains."

What's interesting is that the Lord knows that about me. He knows that I do everything I can to keep myself from pain. Most of us do I think. And pain is exactly how He brought me to Him through a little girl named Ellie Kate McLaughlin. You can read about how she changed me here. But Ellie Kate's life and her family's life is not one empty of pain. When the Lord brought the McLaughlin's into our lives, He never intended for it to be a temporary thing. He intended to use something painful to make me fall head over heels for Him. Pain is what made me seek Him and find Him.

Yet, we so often do everything we can to stay in our little world. We don't want to deal with anyone else's rain when we can barely handle our own. But what good is that?

What good is our faith if it's not being lived out through our actions and desires to be the hands and feet of Christ?

My prayer tonight? That He would make my faith good for something. I want it to be more about Him and less about me. I want to be willing and joyful to do whatever it is He calls us to do.

So I have to ask you too.....what good is your faith? Are you seeking His will for your life? Are you letting Him use you for the good of His kingdom? I don't think it's the easiest thing to do, but the easiest thing is never the best. Doing things that are hard is what makes our lives worthy.

What good is your faith?

.....day 283 of a year of writing.....

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