Way of Faith Revealed!

“But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.” (Galatians 3:22,23 NLT)

If we never read what the Scriptures say, we will never know what they declare. “For all have sinned and fallen short…” and this is why we need to receive the work on the cross, through Jesus Christ, by faith–the way of redemption!

There are some who believe it is our works that matter more than our faith. They did not read what the Scriptures declared: “Faith, without works, is dead.” It is because of our faith in Jesus Christ that we are able to do good works--seeking His direction so He gets the glory and not us.

I have often had people say, through the auspices of social media, that they did not believe in God and they thought helping people was simply a way of life. They thought my profession of faith was a waste of time. What they did not know was that I have worked tirelessly, helping others, even when I was in need for myself and my children. It didn’t matter. My love for Jesus and knowing that I had to share the love He gives me, was important enough for me to do for others, before considering myself. And because He loves and honors the works of my hands, my needs have always been met through one avenue or another. God always puts us on someone’s heart, who is willing to hear Him, to meet a need.

However, if we have not faith in the work on the cross, we negate God’s love for us, and we miss hearing what He has to say so we can be a benefit to others (not seeking our own glory or patting ourselves on the back). It is because of His love for me that He was raised on that cross and suffered the indignities of those who had no faith, that I can stay in faith–in Him–always knowing that nothing I ever need, will be withheld from Him. Glory Hallelujah! That’s faith, revealed!

Whatever the scriptures declare, I can declare with confidence because my faith in Him, is immoveable, nothing wavering, even when I cannot see what He is doing, I know He is working things out for my good!

The Gift That Keeps Giving!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9 NIV).

No matter how many times I read this segment of Scripture, I am constantly amazed at how much God loves us. The gift of grace, showered upon those of us who certainly have not earned His favor, but have it any way. Wow! What an awesome God!

Since He knows us and our propensity to boast about “how good we are” or a number of other things we do to proclaim our salvation, He reminds us that it is not by “our works” (what we do or don’t do) that saves, but because of His grace–the gift of the work on the cross–because of His love that we are saved. Why do we need to be reminded of this? Because of those who love to “try to control others” by constantly telling people who is or who is not saved.

Most of us know some of these people by what “they say.” If a person does not agree with them, their constant rejoinder is, “you need to be saved.” If a person has a differing view of scripture, “you need to be saved.” If a person doesn’t attend a certain church, “you need to be saved.” If a person doesn’t wear their clothes exactly right, “you need to be saved.” If a person goes to a movie,” you need to be saved.” If a person watches television,” you need to be saved.” If a person doesn’t read their bible every hour on the hour, “you need to be saved.” This list could go on and on, but the point here is–they are the ones who have forgotten–we are saved by grace, not by works. They are the ones who are attempting to get into heaven by their works, not realizing their constant misjudgment of people will certainly not bode well for them.

Since I have accepted the gift of grace from God (not man), I am saved. I honor Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and try always to do those things that please Him. I do not know what others have done at any point in their life and I certainly acknowledge the fact that we are not all going to agree about a number of things–pertaining to salvation, but that does not mean a person is not saved. That judgment call is up to God, not me.

However, we do know that when people are saved, they do good works–helping others, encouraging others, praying for others, and warning others (not judging them). They do the works because they are saved; not because they are trying to be saved. The gift of grace–God’s unearned, unmerited favor–is the gift that keeps on giving when we do the good works God inspires us to do for others.

Lord Jesus, we thank You for the gift of Grace that You give us, bringing us into relationship with You so we can hear and obey all You say to us. Thank You for using us in demonstration of the gift that keeps giving.

Rewarded For Works!

“…then He shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).

Imagine that!  We will be rewarded–everyone of us–according to the works we have done.

When I was a child, I was rewarded for good grades, behaving in school, and doing my chores, without being reminded.

As a teenager, I was rewarded for doing things in school with the clubs to which I belonged, getting good grades, and still doing my chores (more of them) without being reminded.

As a college student, I was rewarded with recognitions and being on the Dean’s list, for doing my work and without being reminded.

As a young adult, I was rewarded with raises and promotions on jobs for doing what I was supposed to do (punctuality, integrity, and dedication), without being reminded, five days a week.

As a teacher, I was rewarded with–the satisfaction of seeing some of my students excelling and in knowing I was doing a job well (the rest of the students–almost 75% of them in public school–well, that’s another story for another time–found in If Parents Cared Enough…Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read, available on amazon.com).

As a writer, I am rewarded for writing a  good book–content with substance and for the most part–well-written, whenever people buy my books.

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am rewarded every time someone gives their life to Christ and understands how much He loves them through my conduct and conversation with them.

As a child of the most High God, I have endeavored to do good works in promoting the Gospel and living according to His Word to the very best of my ability, always trusting Him, and expecting Him to guide, correct, love and forgive my shortcomings.

I am looking forward to the reward He has for me, according to the works I have done–“Well done my good and faithful servant!”

What is your reward going to be?