Posts tagged ‘James’

March 19, 2012

5 Thing I Try to Act Like I Believe

by pastortimfowler

Being a pastor is an amazing life of impossible situations made possible by God. I wish that all Christians could have the experience of spending a week in my shoes. No matter how awesome I think I am, and I know many of you agree with me, I am constantly facing challenges that need a supernatural intervention and I am never left disappointed. I don’t want to come across as some sort of spiritual super guy, but rather a guy that has learned through years of trial and error about how faith really works. My church must get tired of hearing about my faith and their faith in chairs, but you have to admit,it is a brilliant analogy. We sit in chairs because we have faith in chairs.
Faith is not what you believe, it is what you do because you believe. The New Testament book of James says that faith without doing something with it is dead. It means that if all we do is tell people that we believe but never act like it, then there is no real faith and nothing for others to believe in.
Situations are constantly presenting themselves to me in a way that I have to act before I can fully weigh the consequences and often they go against conventional thinking. But what I have learned through the years is that God can fix my mistakes better than He can deal with my lack of actions. I don’t underestimate God’s ability to guide my actions to accomplish His will. He can stop me from screwing up just as easily as He can give me success in doing something right. But if I refuse to do anything because I don’t believe God, there is nothing going to happen, for sure.
Here are 5 things I believe and try to always act like I believe:
1. Isaiah 55:9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”
I don’t understand everything, but I don’t have too. God understands everything and I want to act like I believe that.
2. Isaiah 55:11 My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. It will not come back to me without results. It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do. God’s word is what is powerful, not mine. Even if people say they don’t believe, God will handle that, I don’t have too.
3. Hebrews 13:5 Be happy with what you have because God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you.” I am not alone. If I am doing what God says for me to do, even if no one else is with me, He is.
4. Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Nothing is impossible when you trust in the truth and do it. NOTHING. Not acting because it feels impossible is denying the power God.
5. 1 John 4:16 We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them. Not only does God love me, but HE IS LOVE. Love is a far greater motivator to action than fear.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant.
5 It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.
6 It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.

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June 29, 2011

Just Do It!

by pastortimfowler

In the book of James, Christians are challenged with an “in your face” look at who we should be. Just in to the first two chapters most who claim to be Christians could walk away with a deep need to re-examine what it means to be a Christian. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is this one: James 1:22 Do what God’s word says. Don’t merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves. Doing what we hear is a test of our faith. I know way too many folks who can quote the Bible very well and yet they do very little of what they quote. Apparently this is not a new problem since James was writing about it almost 2000 years ago.
James also says that faith without doing something with it is basically dead, or worthless. He tells us that even demons believe in God and even tremble at His name. What that means is that saying you are a believer is not enough. We must begin to do what the Bible teaches if we want to be called Christians. With that statement I mean others should be calling us Christians by the way we act, but we all know that most folks outside the church world call us hypocrites.
Can you imaging how many people would be following Jesus if He acted like many Christians act? What if He only quoted scripture and never did anything? What if he only said He was going to die on a cross and be raised the third day? Where would we be today?
By the same token, many people who don’t read the Bible, or don’t go to church, see people who are supposed to represent Jesus and all he taught and what they get is words and not enough actions. James said that if someone asked for food or clothes that really need them and all we do is tell them that we will pray for them that our faith is dead.
Faith should cause us to do good things for people. It should cause us to give because we know that God honors our giving. It should cause us to serve, because Jesus said the greatest among us will be servants. It should cause us to teach because you can’t make disciples if they don’t know what to do. It should cause us to lead children to worship and know Jesus because He said that they were precious to Him and that we must come to Him like a child does.
So here is my challenge. If you are a Christian, and you are not involved in doing what you hear taught from the word of God, start doing something. Here are a few suggestions:
You can pray. This is needed and was modeled by Jesus. Luke 18:1 Jesus used this illustration with his disciples to show them that they need to pray all the time and never give up.
Pray for someone, by name, that you know does not know Jesus. Pray for your church leaders that they are wise and not scared to do what they need to do. Pray for our nation, that we return to are Christian roots.
You can help in the children’s area at your church. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar. You just need to love kids and love Jesus. Mark 10:15-16 I can guarantee this truth: Whoever doesn’t receive the kingdom of God as a little child receives it will never enter it.” Jesus put his arms around the children and blessed them by placing his hands on them.
Not matter how big your church is, there is never enough help in that area. Some people rarely ever get to worship with “the big people” because they are loving kids. Even if you only help once a month it helps.
You can go out daily and invite people to your church. Luke 14:23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go to the roads and paths! Urge the people to come to my house. I want it to be full. This is nothing more than telling people, with enthusiasm, how much you love the Lord and your church. What? You don’t have enthusiasm about one or the other? Perhaps it’s because you are not doing what you have been taught and your faith is dead.
Its time to come alive and show your faith! Faith means you really believe it. You sit in chairs because of faith. You drive your car because of faith. Showing people what you know about Jesus should be just as natural because of faith. Like Nike says…Just do it!