“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that Faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, Faith was perfected.” (21-22)
I like using the word trust instead of faith, only because we’ve seemed to confuse ourselves about what faith is. Faith is a step–a trust fall if you will–toward the God you believe will catch you. Our greatest example of this is that crazy story of Abraham offering up his most cherished to the LORD who made a promise he believed.
There is no doubt about it, our actions scream what we trust. Our faith (or lack there of) is more obvious than we think.
This is very often tested against our devotion to money. Do we trust God or do we trust money? He did say we can’t serve both masters. Faith is most demonstrated in generosity, I believe.
Over the past few years, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in countries where the lingering effects of communism can still be seen. This is the most obviously demonstrated in the sharing of snacks. I have found myself ashamed on more than one occasion, for being really excited about a snack and not sharing it as much as I should have. All while observing my friends share their snacks so much, they basically get the same one bite everyone else does. What is this? My American innards quake, damn commies! Can’t anyone just eat their own snacks? It truly uncovered something alarming inside me. On one occasion, I was sneaking snacks to my close friends, subsequently becoming annoyed by the fact that they were sharing their small portion with everyone else. Why can’t I just be generous to my favorites? (4)
I was reminded of this again today, which is probably why these verses are hitting me different this time around.
“if a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” (15-16)
I don’t know what to do with all this, beside challenge myself to be more generous than I am. But let’s not forget… WHY.
Because I serve God, not money, and I have faith–trust–that He is who He says He is in all cases. He also said Scripture is fulfilled when we love others as ourselves.
What does this stir in you? How do you trust God about money? How is that evident in your generosity? After all, faith without works is dead.