S80P10 – Growth spurts: good works

Jam. 2:14-17

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

He never believed that he could be saved by good works, but his idea of salvation was flawed all the same.  From the start of his walk with Christ he saw sanctification as only his walk.  He prayed to the Lord to develop that one-on-one relationship.  He spent time singing God’s praises and pouring out his worship that way.  He dug deep in the word to learn more and more of the character of God.  Everything was coming in, but the problem was that not much was going out.  When it came to acts of service, his name never appeared on the sign-up sheet.  He was not one to open his home to others, and he preferred to pray over a situation than to get his hands in there and help work it out.  His faith was incomplete, having become all about what he believed and producing almost no good works.

We already know that faith is one of the things in which we are to grow and increase as we mature spiritually.  We also know that faith and works go hand-in-hand.  If we have a true faith in our Savior, then our good works will appear as evidence of that faith.  It only makes sense that a progression of growth in our faith would produce a progression of growth in our good works.  This might mean that we are more active in serving others over time.  It also might mean that we are willing to do greater or more difficult works which require an increase in faith.  What we expect our faith to become is belief without doubt.  What we expect our good works to become is a willingness to serve in any way we can. We are talking about removing any limitations we have placed on what is convenient, comfortable or even possible for us to complete.

Maturity in our good works might look like going from feeding one hungry child to feeding 100 hungry children.  It might take us from utilizing our own resources to accomplish one great thing to enlisting the resources of others in an effort to multiply that great thing to bless more people.  Maturity in our good works will bring not only a willingness to serve but inventiveness and wisdom in service.  Instead of merely waiting for opportunities of service to arise, we will pursue or even create them.  The more we understand our faith, the more we should understand the importance of the fruit of good works.  Father, give us the servant heart You gave your Son so that we would seek and create opportunities to do good works for the sake of your kingdom, producing the good fruit You desire.