Thursday, July 3, 2008

When the Bumper Sticker Doesn’t Match the Driver

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

James 2:14 (NIV)

A recent Gallup Poll says there are fifty million people in America who say, “I am a Christian.” But truth be told, not all of those fifty million can back it up with the lifestyle they live. Just because a person claims it, doesn’t mean they have it.

Typically, we label people “believers” today if they vaguely sound Christian. At the end of a World Series, a player may come on TV while the champagne is spraying, and say, “I just want to thank the good Lord.” We think, “Oh, he must be a Christian, he said ‘Lord.’” Well, not necessarily. Not everybody who has a Christian bumper sticker on their car is a Christian. Have you figured that one out? In Matthew 7:21 (NIV), Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Not everybody who claims to be a believer really is a believer.

James points out that there’s a big difference between being a professor and a possessor, between saying it and actually having it. So what does Jesus say? What value is this faith that just claims it? Jesus says there’s no value at all. It’s worthless. Talk is cheap, because faith is more than just something you say.

· Take inventory. Is your lifestyle saying something opposite of the bumper sticker on your car? Is Jesus the guiding force in everything you do or is he just along for the ride with several other more benign influences?

· Connecting with God is a catalyst for faith. What are you doing this very moment that is a start to a reckless pursuit of God?

· Match words with actions and actions with words. In truth you need both! Prepare for the day ahead by making a promise that you’ll walk the talk!!!!

Rick Warren