Below is a devotional article that my fourteen year old daughter, Victoria, wrote for our homeschool co-op’s newsletter, The HomesCool Hot Spot. Newsletter is offered as a class in which the students learn to interview for features and to write various styles of news articles. I thought I’d share it with all of you today.
Faith in Action
For my schoolwork, I’m reading a book about missionaries who went to a tribe in New Guinea that were headhunters and cannibals to tell them about God. As I was reading the book, Peace Child by Don Richardson, even though I could see that God had performed miracles and changed the hearts of the tribal Sawi people, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “It’s so amazing that those missionaries went all the way over there to win people to Christ, but I would never be able to do that. I think I’ll just stay in America.” It wasn’t until I thought about that statement that I thought about how wrong it was. If God wants me to be a missionary, I’ll have to go. You can’t exactly say no to God.
But there are people who say no to God. Jonah ran away from what God was calling him to do. We all know that didn’t exactly work out for him, especially when you consider that he was swallowed by a fish. He thought it would be better and easier for him to go do something else, instead of going to Nineveh like God had told him to do. A lot of times it is easier not to do God’s will. It’s easier for us to stay at home and carry on with our lives which, especially when you look at how bad off most of the world’s people are, are going quite well. But God never said it was going to be easy. Do you think it was easy for those missionaries to live among people who valued treachery and admired how Judas had betrayed Jesus? Do you think it was easy for them to bring their baby with them to live in a hut in the jungle? Of course it wasn’t. But they were doing God’s work. They said yes to what God was calling them to do.
Proverbs 24:12 says:
“If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” (NIV)
God will know if we are not doing His will. We can’t feign ignorance with someone who knows all things. He will reward those who do His work, and He will punish those who don’t. Sometimes I’m tempted to think, “But I’m a Christian. Isn’t that enough? I go to church and I read my Bible and pray. Works don’t get you to heaven.” That’s true. Works alone don’t get you to heaven. You have to have asked Jesus to be your savior. But that doesn’t mean works don’t matter.
James 2:14-17 says:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (NIV)
God uses us to do His work here on Earth. We, as Christians, are called to take care of the least of these, lead people to Christ, and do His will. The good news is, if God calls us to do something, it will be hard, but He will provide for our needs. When we are walking closely with God, we desire what He desires. He will strengthen us and He is always with us. God wants to use us. He wants to use you. You just have to let Him.
I’ll finish with one of my favorite quotes. It says:
You have no body on earth but ours,
No hands but ours,
No feet but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which your compassion must look out on the world.
Ours are the feet by which you may still go about doing good.
Ours are the hands with which You bless people now.
Bless our minds and bodies,
That we may be a blessing to others.
St. Theresa of Avila
May we all be moved to action by the grace of our incredible God!
May God Bless You All!