You see that [his] faith was working together with his works, and as a result of the works, his faith was completed [reaching its maturity when he expressed his faith through obedience]. (Amplified Bible)
Are your responses to life building your faith?
Do you say you are a Christian? Do you believe God has a plan for your life? Do you believe His plan is for good and not for evil? Do you believe, if the Lord began the plan, He will perform it? If you said yes to all those questions, then you should act like it:
You should be able to stay calm when everyone else is coming apart.
You should stand on what you know the Lord has spoken to you, when everyone around you doubts you.
You should be able to wait on the Lord and not get tired of waiting.
If you are being lied about, you should not deal in lies.
If you are being treated with hatred, you should not give place to hating.
You should be able to speak to crowds and not become arrogant.
You should be able to walk with Kings and remain humble.
Neither your enemies nor loving friends should be able to hurt you.
(edited excerpt from If by Rudyard Kipling)
If you can live the life described in the editted poem, every blessing God has promised, in this life, will be yours. What’s more, you can truly call yourself a Christian!
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I thank You for faith. You gave me the faith I needed to trust You for my salvation. You gave me instruction on how my faith can be increased. As I spend time with You, as I pray and wait for Your answer to my prayers, as I watch to see You at work, my faith is increased. I know it is not enough for me to have faith, but I have to demonstrate my faith by allowing You to work through me. I demonstrate my faith when I don’t lie to get ahead, and I don’t mistreat those who mistreat me. I know faith without works is dead. My desire is to live a life that says, “I believe God”. If I can live that life, then I will have done my part to help You be lifted so You can draw all men unto You…
————————– IF ————————-
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)