|Photo Credit: Ian|
Flickr Creative Commons
Among those treasured books is a ten-volume collection entitled simply, “Spurgeon’s Sermons.” While many of his works can now be had in an e-format, I tend to be a little more old fashioned and would still rather curl up in my favorite chair with an equally old-fashioned paper version of the book.
What follows here comes from one of those recent times in my favorite chair. It comes from Spurgeon’s Sermons, Volume 2, Sermon number 26, entitled “Love’s Commendation.” I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” –Romans, v.8
“No big words of ready talkers,
No fine boastings will suffice;
Broken hearts and humble walkers,
These are dear in Jesus’ eyes.”
Let us imitate God, then, in this. If we would commend our religion to mankind, we can not do it by mere formalities, but by gracious acts of integrity, charity, and forgiveness, which are the proper discoveries of grace within. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Let your conversation be such as becometh the Gospel of Christ;” and so shall you honor him, and “adorn the doctrine” which you profess. (Charles Spurgeon)
|Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons|
What did I get out of that introduction from Spurgeon’s sermon? I was reminded of the importance of a practical action-based faith. I was reminded of James’ letter where he says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22; ESV). Have we deceived ourselves a little by seemingly downplaying the “doing” part of the faith? I do wonder about that sometimes.
“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” (James 2:14-17; ESV).
Someone once said, “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.” The bottom line is that talk is cheap. Sooner or later, it becomes time to put our faith into action. Eventually we must crawl off that pew and “do” something with all that teaching we’ve received. Just as one would expect that a student would eventually graduate and move on into a career, shouldn’t the Christian also eventually graduate (as it were) and move on into “doing” something with all those years and years of indoctrination and pew sitting?
Please understand, I do not have a problem with sermons and teaching per se, but I do have a problem with them if that is all we are doing and if we never seem to get around to actually “doing” the everyday practical parts of the faith. I’m reminded of a well-known parable:
“There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him on to his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill – I’ll pay you on my way back.’
“What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”
“The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, “Go and do the same” (Luke 10:30-37; The Message).
|Photo Credit: Ted|
Flickr Creative Commons
Which one are you?
Which one am I?
Are there needs around us that we can do something about? Most certainly there are! Obviously we cannot possibly do everything for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that we should then do nothing for anyone. Some will say, “I can’t afford it,” as if we were talking about some great financial expense. However, while there could be a financial expense in some circumstances, DOING doesn’t necessarily involve dollars at all, but it does involve having a heart for our fellow man.
|Photo Source: Unknown|
Have a blessed Easter, my friends. May the condition of our hearts toward others, reflect the love of Jesus in practical acts of DOING for those whose paths cross ours.