FAITH IN ACTION

Scripture Reading:  Acts 11:27-30

“So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.  And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 11:29,30)

These new converts in Antioch learned quickly that God wants us to put our faith into action.  Some prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.  One of them, Agabus, prophesied about a famine (v. 28).  This prophecy was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius (41-54 AD).  The new believers in Antioch sent contributions to help their fellow believers in Judea.  Do you see what is happening?  These newly converted Gentile believers reached out to their Jewish brothers and sisters in Judea who suffer from the famine that was prophesied by Agabus.

True saving faith always leads to a transformed life.  When the gospel come to bear upon our lives, it changes our motives, attitudes and behavior.  James wrote these words about true faith:  “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead” (James 2:14-17).

The gospel produces generosity in those who have been transformed by it.  We begin to delight in doing for others because Christ’s love compels us to do so.  We respond to God’s gracious and generous gift of eternal life by being gracious and generous ourselves.  In other words, we put our faith into action.  These newly converted Gentiles were moved by God’s love and grace to be generous to their needy Jewish brothers in Judea.

How can we put our faith into action today?  Remember the words of James:  “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead” (James 2:17).  True saving faith always produces works motivated by love and gratitude for what God has done for us.

Lord Jesus, let me put my faith into action today.  Give me opportunities to be gracious and generous to others.

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