Tuesday Devotion - August 25
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Max Lucado , one of my favorite inspirational authors and pastors, owns his own shelf in my bookcase- but of course he doesn't know it. I have so often been lifted spiritually by his nuggets of wisdom, that it was no surprise when I turned to his study on the book of James as a new addition to my morning devotions. James tells us that God gives us true wisdom, that Satan tempts to break us but God tests to strengthen us, the words we use are powerful and influential, and faith and good deeds go hand in hand.
Here is a story James would have liked.
"Francis of Assisi once invited an apprentice to go with him to a village to preach. The young monk agreed seizing the opportunity to hear his teacher speak. Once in the village, Francis began to visit with the people. First the butcher, then a visit with the cobbler. Next a visit with a woman who'd recently lost her husband. After that a chat with the local school teacher. This continued throughout the morning. After some time Francis told his disciple it was time to return to the abbey. The student didn't understand. "But we came to preach," he reminded. "We haven't preached a sermon."
"Haven't we?"questioned the elder. "People have watched us, listened to us responded to us. Every word we have spoken, every DEED we have done has been a sermon. We have preached all morning."
"Talk is cheap. Service is invaluable. It is not that works save the Christian, but that works mark the Christian. In James's book of logic, it only makes sense that we who have been given much should give much. Not with just our words, but with our lives."
Or as St. Francis is noted as saying," Preach without ceasing. If you must, use words."
Heavenly Father, help make us aware of others around us that we may actively live our faith on a daily basis. In this time of challenges and crises, help us remember to trust and obey. In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.