Personal Devotions: Faith in Action!

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17, MSG)

I’m reading through the book of James with a friend.  This morning, while reading James 2, the concept of faith being inextricably linked to works was highlighted.  The fact is, you can’t have one without the other.  As the Message Bible continues:

18I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

You need both.  It’s so important that both faith and works be together that The Message has a word picture of a corpse if they are separated:

Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? (vs 20, MSG)

and

The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse. (vs 26, MSG)

So, here’s my action!  James also mentions what ‘religion’ means  to God…

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27 (NIV)

My friend, Alece, is the president of a ministry Thrive Africa, whose mission, from their website, is to “disciple Believers, equip leaders, and strengthen the Church in Southern Africa.”  She continues, ” We accomplish this through AIDS preventionpastoral development,discipleship classesyouth camps,mission trips, and more.”

I placed a banner to their store on my blog, and I’ve been folllowing Alece’s story on her personal blog Grit and Glory.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

She has become a blog friend – one who I connect with through her words on her blog, and through her story… but reading this Scripture today I am inspired to DO SOMETHING.  I am thinking about my finances and what I can do to help her ministry, but the SOMETHING I can start with is free… highlight her, her ministry, and their need here.

Thrive Africa needs assistance. Here’s part of the need from their website:

We have set a goal to raise $80,000 in new support by June 1.

$60,000 in one-time gifts by April 15

to get us up-to-date on our operating expenses

$20,000 in new monthly commitments by June 1

to continue our programs at current levels.

It is a God sized request for a God sized vision.  I want to help.  And I’m asking all to help as well.  Let us not just hear what the word says. Let’s do what it says, and help.

For more information, go to Impact South Africa, from Thrive Africa.

And get to know Alece, and her inspirational and authentic story at her personal blog – Grit and Glory.

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13 Responses

  1. Very good wisdom friend!

  2. Thanks …. God’s wisdom is open for the taking, isn’t it? 🙂

  3. Robert
    Thank you for spuring us into action. I will be praying for this ministry of Alece’s and support it in any way possible. I am also reminded of similar ministries in my home country, India, and I am moved to see how I can support them too.
    Blessings,
    Vineet

    • thank you for your prayers, vineet!

      • You are most welcome. Thank you for serving God faithfully in South Africa!
        Vineet

  4. Thanks Vineet! May the Lord continue to inspire you in your move to support Alece and the other ministries that are laid on your heart!

    • It’s the least we can do for our brothers and sisters who live out their faith! Thank you for being the voice for the Lord!
      Vineet

  5. 1 john 3:18 – “let us not love in word or talk but in action and truth.” we are called to do something. not to earn God’s love but as a response to it.

    thank you for spreading the word about what God’s doing through Thrive!

    • Like I said, you inspire me 🙂 May God help you through your personal struggles… and may Thrive live up to its name!!!!!

  6. Great words Bajan!!! Thank you for writing about this

    • Yeah, you’re welcome Mandy…. wait… this is the first time u’ve commented here 🙂 Official welcome to the Hand of God! streamers and noise makers! Hope you come back again! 🙂

  7. Great work, Robert. I like how the message put that–a corpse. Very visual. Very graphic. Sometimes that works. 🙂

    Thrive is doing such a fantastic work; I’m glad you chose to highlight them today.

  8. […] but for her ministry at Thrive Africa – I wrote a post about her and her ministry.  Read it here – and go over and support the Ten Buck Tuesday […]

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