James 2:26 says that faith without works is dead. What did you learn this week about what it means to put your faith into action?
Andres T. – Our faith which is found through Christ not only provides salvation but is called to be put into action. This week, I learned that while I am not justified by works but by faith, my works are proof of my faith. This means that my actions should be led by the faith I have in Jesus who leads me to live a life of love for others. My works aren’t for my own salvation, but to lead others to salvation.
Charlene D. – Putting my faith into action looks like being willing to go the second mile for my brothers and sisters. I need to be generous and sacrificial, and I need to love my enemies. These works and actions must be done solely unto God and not to please people. To put my faith into action means to proclaim the Kingdom proudly, and be unafraid of worldly consequences.
Jared R. – This past week brought some new challenges in which the Lord was able to open my eyes to my own heart. While learning and experiencing a glimpse of the persecuted church, I was put into position to practice putting my faith into action. Through these experiences, the Lord was actually showing me a deeper look into how I love people; or how I actually may need more work done in my heart towards loving others. While I struggle with loving those who hurt our fellow Christians who are being persecuted, I praise and thank God for revealing to me other areas of my heart that He needs to work on while here at Patmos! I believe now more than ever that once we fully grasp the Father’s love for us, it will be natural to let that love of God shine through us to those who are lost and are in need of a Savior!
Leigh Anne Z. – Putting my faith into action looks like trusting that God will provide and finding contentment in Him, even when everything is taken from me. Faith that works requires believing that perfect love casts out all fear. I am so easily prone to live out of fear rather than faith. Fear controls and manipulates reality. While, faith gives freedom through knowing Him and knowing that He has already gone before me and will protect, take care of, and never leave me.
Marissa H. – This week we learned about how to put faith into action. We were taught the Sermon on the Mount and how it is the Constitution for Christians. The one that really stood out to me was “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). I prayed that Jesus would show me what it truly means to hunger and thirst for righteousness and oh did He. It was really humbling just asking Jesus for His Holy Spirit, because I can’t do it alone. I wouldn't recommend that prayer unless you really mean it. It was a hard thing to be challenged on but it was so worth it and so beautiful in the end. Living out James 2:26 this week had changed my perspective on how to live out what I believe.
Neil C. – In the book of James, it says that faith without works is dead, so this week I learned how to put my faith into action. Christ calls us to be more than doers of the law, He has called us to go above and beyond and as the body we should be exceeding in righteousness. This righteousness is not our own, being human means that I have tendencies that are of this world. Christ teaches us that, although we are on this earth, we are not meant to be here forever. Our home is in heaven with the Father. Exceeding in righteousness is achieved only by the help of the Holy Spirit! I look forward to strengthening my faith by walking closer with God, only then can He give me the strength that is not my own to overcome the storms in my life.
Sophia P. – This week I learned that putting your faith into action requires a motivator, love. I used to think that love couldn’t battle the intense, evil things of this world but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Love was the motivator behind the very act that brought life and hope back into the world, the crucifixion. Jesus went through suffering and dying because He loved us, and with His final breath He defeated death. I need to stop undermining love, it is powerful. God is love. Without love, my faith could never work.
Zachary G. – This week may very well have been my favorite so far, despite it’s many difficulties. As we looked at “Faith Works” (James 2:26), we studied and memorized the Sermon on the Mount and realized the importance of this “constitution” Christ has given all believers as citizens of heaven. Additionally, I was very impacted by our focus on the persecuted church, further opening my eyes to the reality that faces my brothers and sisters in hostile/restricted nations. Throughout the week, in moments of weakness, (and there were many) it was so powerful to grow in prayerfulness as I begged the Lord to make me poor in spirit, mourn for what breaks His heart, and emulate Christ’s meekness, hunger for righteousness (more than physical food), be a recipient and extender of His mercy, pure in heart, a peacemaker, and exceedingly glad “when” (not “if”) He calls me to be persecuted for righteousness sake. I have found it essential that faith does the work because I can’t do any of those things on my own and I pray that I continue to grow in these areas for the rest of my life.