I have a friend who was inspired by a Christmas advert last year. I wonder if you remember the old man on the moon and the little girl. The advert was about showing someone they are loved this Christmas. Every time I watched this advert I’d cry – but I did very little about it. (If you want to view the ad it is here)
My friend, on the other hand, was so inspired that she purposefully made friends with an older gentlemen. She visited him regularly, drank tea, talked with and loved him. I read her facebook comments and was moved by her compassion for him. The posts became ones of concern for his health and then there was a very sad post about his upcoming funeral. She attended, not as a stranger but as one of his friends.
She is inspiring, I hope you agree. She didn’t just watch the ad and be moved internally but was moved externally in her actions too.
I have written about her example because faith is very similar. If we respond with just the internal emotion very little actually happens. When we respond with action, this emotion becomes alive and real.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17
This page recalls three displays of faith. Firstly, there was a synagogue leader who searches and finds Jesus because his daughter has died. He knew that Jesus was his only hope, having heard that he could heal.
Secondly, there was the lady that had to push through the crowd. She would have been forbidden by the law to go out where others might touch her by accident because they would also be made unclean. She pushed through the religious problems as well as the crowd and reached out to touch Jesus’ hem.
Thirdly, there were the blind men that followed Jesus because they had their faith rise in them after the girl had been raised from the dead. Their faith caused them to not hold back as they pursued Jesus through the streets and into the house.
Then Jesus says “According to your faith let it be done to you.”
What faith did they have? Well, enough to receive what they had asked for. We discover that the dead girl lived, the lady stopped bleeding and the blind men had sight. The measure of their faith was seen in their action towards Jesus, and the measure returned to them in their healing.
It seems that according to the measure of faith determines what happens. So, is it time to measure up your faith in the place where you stand? Are you showing it to be a thimble full or a bucket? The synagogue leader, the woman and the blind men appeared to have immense faith after all they saw great things because of it. It feels like they must have had more than a bucketful. At this point we can give up and not bother to do anything with the little bit of faith that we have. But don’t be discouraged if you think that your tiny bit of faith is not going to achieve anything. It is incredibly encouraging, after all, to know that faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain.
I guess the measure of your faith isn’t always just about the actual volume of what you feel, but it is about the action that you put into it. Even with the tiniest of seeds of faith if we push through, reach out, search for and pursue GOD – faith can grow into big plants. Big plants can then supply shelter and homes for others. However, if action is not taken and it is not planted, how will it ever grow?
So, if you think you have a bucketful or thimble full of faith, put it to action and see it come alive.
What action could you take with the little faith you have? Praying for others at church could grow into praying for others on the street or coffee shop. Being a friend to another mum in the playground or colleague at work could lead to doing Alpha with them. Asking GOD to heal a headache could be the thing that prepares the ground for battle against long term or terminal illnesses through intercession.
As I write this I think of particular friends who are pushing through, reaching out, searching for and pursuing GOD … take courage friends, He sees your faith in action, however big or small and declares it alive.