Good afternoon, friends.
You are receiving an early edition of Nana’s Nook this week because I will be away from my computer for the next week and won’t have access to my e-mail lists. I thought I would leave you with some things to think about in the upcoming week. I am still thinking through my 2019 life goal, “Live in His grace, Give His grace”. When I think about all of the implications of those 7 words, I am amazed. We have already talked about the idea of living in God’s grace, reveling in the forgiveness He offers to all who would believe in His Son, Jesus. We spent a lot of time this past week focused on the topic of giving grace (forgiveness) to others.
This week I am focusing on the second part of “Giving His grace” through acts of loving service, which we introduced last week. The Scripture passage that quickly came to mind as I pondered on this was James 2:14-17, which says this: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it. In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” This passage could be summed up in this statement: A living faith is a giving faith!
Martin Luther said it this way: “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” Our works do not save us, but they do reveal if we are truly saved.
Even Jesus Himself is said to have said these words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Act 20:35). He told the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story we are all probably familiar with, where help came in a most unlikely way. (If you are not familiar with this parable, may I challenge you to grab your Bible and read the powerful message as found in Luke 10:25-37).
Jesus again emphasized the importance of having a giving heart in Matthew 19:16-22 where he interacts with a rich young man who wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. This youngster was pretty full of himself, telling Jesus he had kept the whole law. So Jesus cuts right to the heart of the matter and tells him that to be perfect, he should sell all he had and give it to the poor. The Scriptures tell us that, “when the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth”. Jesus was not saying that it is a bad thing to have wealth. He was illustrating the point that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). And it’s not all about money! It is about giving of yourself through your time, your talents, your love and support, etc.
So, the challenge I would like to throw out for the upcoming week is that we would all have eyes to see where we can serve, where we can prove we have a living faith by having a giving faith. All to God’s great glory! Have a grace-filled week!