Hello all. June has arrived! Do you have any plans for the summer months? Perhaps you will be going away or maybe you will be staying at home…whatever you do, may these coming months be a blessing. My ongoing prayer for us as a church is that we will grow up into all that the Lord has for us and in our understanding of who He is and the implications that this has on the lives we live.
I remember when I was younger and my Mum or Dad, or maybe a schoolteacher, would ask me to do something. My response would often be to say “In a minute”. After some time had passed and I still hadn’t done what had been asked, they would say, “Actions speak louder than words”. In other words, it’s one thing to say you’re going to do something, it is another thing to actually do it!
Do actions speak louder than words? Maybe sometimes they do. One thing is for sure, actions and words must go hand in hand as far as the Lord is concerned. We cannot claim to have faith, trusting in Jesus and his word, if our actions do not support such claims. As James says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14)
As you know, our current Sunday morning series is “The Greatest Story” which is taking us through the big picture of Scripture. A few weeks back, we looked at Noah and Abraham. Both of these characters point forward to a coming rescuer who will rescue us from the disease of sin and the coming judgement.
Noah and Abraham were declared right with God because of their faith in God. We are rescued from sin by trusting in Christ alone. However, these two men had faith which impacted their actions. Noah believed God would graciously rescue him and so
he obediently built the ark in faith. Abraham believed the Lord would be faithful to his promise, making him into a great nation, from whom the rescuer, Jesus, would one day come. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, even though it was through this son that the Lord had promised to establish the nation of Israel. Abraham acted in faith, believing the Lord could raise the dead (Hebrews 11:19).
Both Abraham and Noah were saved because they trusted in God alone to rescue – and the same is true for us. Our works and efforts do not save us at all. However, once we have come to a knowledge of God’s saving grace, every area of our lives must be impacted by this glorious saving truth. True faith in God alone will impact the entirety of our lives.
Picture this: you’ve just been saved from the results of a deadly heart attack through the emergency, surgical intervention of a skilled surgeon. After the surgery, the surgeon says, “You’re alive and well, but please change your lifestyle. Change your diet and get some exercise.” Anybody who realises what they have just been saved from is going to hear and respond with the appropriate actions.
Similarly, those who have truly heard the gospel and come to the realisation that God has acted through the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue us from the disease of sin will, by the Spirit’s help, live lives that reflect the reality of the Lord’s salvation. Those who realise that God, like the aforementioned surgeon, has intervened, reaching out in Jesus to rescue us from sin through faith in Christ alone, will be radically transformed.
May we as a church grow in our understanding of the Lord’s great love and salvation, so that every area of our lives may be transformed by God’s amazing grace. Let us declare to a broken world, through word and deed, that Jesus is the rescuer and may our lives back up that truth.
God bless you all. Have a great June!