The Heart of the Matter
It has been amazing and inspiring to hear Pastor Matt teach on the book of Acts and the early church; but, this week I am going to step away from Acts and back to the heart of the matter.
In the church it is a common struggle to wonder if you are “doing enough”. When I catch myself wondering this I know my heart is not in the right place. It is in these times that I must return to the heart of the matter. I tend to ask myself “Why are you doing this?” Or “What is the purpose of saying that or signing up for that?” If my answer has anything to do with me feeling better about myself, I know I am in dangerous waters. It is in these times that I have to get back into The Word and spend time, intentionally, in His presence. It is in His presence that He kindly humbles me and reminds me that all I do must be about Him and for Him.
In his book, James refers to works. In chapter 2 verses 14-17 he asks: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” And then, in his letter to the Colossians, Paul reminds us: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (3:23)
So yes, we are supposed to “do” and “work” but it is all about the “why”. Why do we do what we do? It is from the overflow of our love for Jesus and our faith in Him. When I read James 2 “works” isn’t what stands out to me. Instead, it reminds me of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Lord Jesus, may our work be the overflow of our hearts. Convict us and redirect us when we are doing anything for selfish gain or recognition. May we be the body of Christ in unity together. May our love for You overflow onto others. Use us to do your work and perform miracles that would bring the lost and broken into a relationship with You. You are the light in us, may we shine that light ever so brightly in this dark and broken world. Amen.