Feb 6, 2012

Posted by in Featured Articles, Spiritual Reflection | 2 Comments

Faith and Deeds

Faith and Deeds

“14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  16 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?  17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But some will say, ” You have faith, I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  19 You believe that there is one God.  Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteous, and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” – James 2:14-26

 

This snippet of scripture goes right along with a major decision that my family and I are currently wrestling with.  We say we have faith in God to always want the best for us and look out for our best interests concerning His will for our lives but recently our faith has been put to the test.

The leading factors to this decision started in 2009.  I was at a training event for my work.  That week I met a guy named Johnny.  We hit it off as both of us have interests in physical fitness and mixed martial arts.  Over the course of that week we had lunch a few times and shot the bull.  When the training commenced we said our farewells and went back to our daily lives.  One year later my family and I relocated to Baltimore MD.  When I was at work one day I received an email from Johnny.  He asked if I still had expertise in the software product we had been trained on and if I would be interested in checking the implementation he and his company had deployed.  I agreed and also let him know about our recent move.  Amazingly, through a series of emails we learned that we lived 1 mile from each other.  We met for dinner that week.  At dinner Johnny asked if we had found a church yet, and that if we hadn’t he would recommend that we check out his.  We were in the process of church shopping so we decided to give it a try.  Needless to say we have never left.  Grace Community Church in Fulton MD is an amazing church, somewhere you actually feel God’s presence every time you enter.  So through Johnny I found Christ.   We have been good friends ever since.  Through Johnny I was also introduced to the company he works for, which comes into play a little bit later in the post.

In the Fall of 2011, we had a family member stay at our house so she could catch a flight back to Charleston SC.  About a week later my wife happened to look at the Charleston area real estate and found it to be quite appealing.  When I arrived home from work she ask me about the job market in Charleston,  so to humor her I fired up the computer to have a look.  I was surprise at what I found. Johnny’s company had some openings in Charleston.  After confirming that my wife was serious about relocating once again, I shot an email to one of the owners to get some information on the job.  After he gave me an overview of the position, he ask if he could submit my resume to the customer and I agreed.  A month or so past by and I didn’t hear anything back, so we wrote it off.  It was then we started having some strange coincidences that pointed towards Charleston.  Then, out of the blue, I got a call from the owners who ask my salary requirements for the position and said that the customer was very excited to bring me onboard.  I was told that I would hear something within a week.  During this whole process my wife and I prayed for God’s will and not our own regarding the outcome of this position.  We prayed that if God was leading us to Charleston to make it a clear choice.  A week later I got a phone call from the owner of the company with the job offer.  My salary requirements were not met, actually it wasn’t even close.  Thank You God for such an easy decision!  I thanked him for the interest and respectfully declined the job.  Fast forward 3 weeks later.  My family and I decided to purchase a home in the Baltimore area where we had been renting for the past two years.  It was time to grow some roots and settle down.  On a Wednesday, I got out of work and was on my way to look at our potential house when I got a call from the owner who informed me that the salary requirement was no longer a problem and that the customer wanted to have a phone interview. I interviewed the next day and received the job offer.

Now how does all this tie into the scripture?  The theme was that “a person is justified by what he does and not just faith alone.”  We prayed and prayed that if it was God’s will for us to move to Charleston to make it clear that it was the right move.  At first it seemed like he made it clear that we were not to go.  We were at peace with this and decided to move on and purchase a house in the area where we were currently living.  But in God’s typical last minute timing, he intervened with a phone call on our way to look at a house that we would have ultimately put an offer on. (Don’t you love the timing!)  Now we are left with a decision.  We prayed for God’s will to be done and not our own in this decision.  God has held up his end of the bargain and has all arrows pointing towards Charleston.  If we do not act, it is basically like us saying “God we have faith that you know best, and it sure looks like you are telling us to go south, but we are going to make our own decision and stay put where we are at because it is safer, more lucrative and easier”  I think this is exactly what the scripture is talking about.  We say we have faith, but our faith is not authentic unless our actions reflect what we preach.  Now if God was steering us towards the  middle east I might be singing a different tune, but God may just be allowing us to take baby steps as we walk beside him . . . warming up for the big steps ahead.

In summary, we cannot earn our salvation by serving and obeying God.  But such actions show that our commitment to God is real.  Deeds of loving service are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of our faith in Christ.

Look out Charleston, here we come!!!

 

 

 

 

 

  1. To me this shows stepping out in faith. No matter what happens God has you back. Exciting to see what is in store. When you follow God’s will things just fall into place easily when you walk the talk. Amazing.

  2. We are so excited to see what God has waiting for you in SC! We all know that the possibilites are endless! I can’t express what a blessing it is when God allows me to see Him working so clearly in the lives of others and how encouraging it is to see Christians who actually walk the walk (as Gretchen mentioned). I know that this hasn’t been an “easy” decision for your family and you have not taken lightly the sacrafices that this step of faith will require. Answering God’s call is often difficult and that is why so many times we choose to go our own way instead. What blessing we miss out on when our faith falters. Moving to MD. brought you closer to Him and I have no doubt that your move to SC. will bring you closer still. We will miss you terribly, but we are so happy that you are choosing to walk with Him. There is no better place to be!

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  1. Focus on Him | Jesus Slave - [...] I discussed in a previous post , my family and I recently moved to Charleston SC.  Since we moved down,…

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