Friday, July 4, 2008

Feelings Are Fickle – Faith Is Forever

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

James 2:15-16 (NIV)

Faith is more than something you just feel. Many people confuse emotions and feelings with faith. They come to church and they are moved emotionally, they’re inspired, and they’re stimulated. They get a quiver in their liver and say, “Oh, man! I’m moved!”

In the book of James, we get a brief glimpse at hollow sentimentality. James minces no words. He’s saying, “You go out on the street and you see some homeless person who’s destitute and simply say, “Cheer up,” or “Don’t worry, be happy!” “Feel good!” “Put on a happy face.” “Smile, smile, smile!” For God’s sake, do something!

Faith is practical. It gets involved in people’s hurts. And when you see a need, you do something about it. James says faith is something you do. You don’t just feel it. You have responsibilities.

One by one. Great opportunities to serve God seldom come, but small opportunities surround us daily. You need to look for those little opportunities because faith is not just something you say, and it’s not just something you feel.

The Next Step:

Give your faith feet. Many Christians practice faith within the confines of their climate controlled cathedrals. Find a way out! Serve your community outside the walls of the local church.

Discover the needs. Put your faith feelers out and find out where the need is greatest in your community; then begin to work on a way you can make a difference.

Go global. What could the church do to change conditions half a world away? Plenty! Find a way to join the move toward stopping extreme poverty and the hopelessness of starvation and disease......Rick Warren