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A Wisdom Retreat - April 27

Published Apr 22, 2021

Faith in Action

James 2:14
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works?

The State of Massachusetts faced a unique and rather agonizing court case involving the family of a man who drowned and another man who refused to save him.

According to court evidence, the deceased and his friends had been at the lake for the afternoon when he accidentally tripped on a rope, lost his balance, and fell off the dock into the water. He couldn’t swim.

He surfaced, flailing his arms wildly as he sputtered and cried for help. He did this a few more times before finally sinking beneath the lake’s surface.

His friends were standing on the adjacent dock and saw what was happening, but they couldn’t get there fast enough to save him. When they pulled him onshore, he couldn’t be revived... it was too late.

Their grief and anguish was compounded by the fact that, just a few yards from where their friend had fallen, a man was sunbathing in his beach chair. Even though he had heard the splash and the cries for help, and even though it would later be proven that he was an excellent swimmer, he had chosen not to go to the man’s rescue.

When the dead man’s family heard this news, they were beside themselves with anger. They took the apathetic sunbather to court to sue him for negligence. The case went all the way to the State Supreme Court, where strong arguments were made on both sides.

The court’s decision was rendered, and the grieving family lost their case.

It was decided that the young man on the dock had no legal responsibility to try to save the drowning man’s life. He had the right to choose whether or not to help.

We are living in a time when passivity can be defended, even if it means the death of another human being.

Jesus Christ said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Christianity is not merely the Gospel of words... it is the Gospel of works! So what work can you do today that will reflect the light of Christ’s Gospel to a dark, self-absorbed, passively uncaring-for-others world?

Maybe a waitress who receives small tips on Sundays from families coming directly from church needs to see that Christians do care. Will you give her a large tip for God’s glory?

Perhaps a friend is going through a crisis right now and is in need of a listening ear. Call him or visit, and simply sit and listen, praying for him before the conversation ends.

Your co-workers may need to stop hearing you complain about your boss and your income and your hours and your bills and, instead, see you working hard—and with a good attitude.

If the world wants to determine what authentic Christianity is, they won’t examine your faith—they don’t know how—but they will examine your life.

Heed the inspired words of the Apostle James: get involved in the lives of people. It demonstrates your faith in Jesus Christ, the One who came to get involved and save people for His Father’s glory.

The lake is there... don’t just sit on the beach!

Prayer Point: Yesterday I encouraged you to pray for God to reveal how you can use your gifts in ministry. Did you figure out some way you can get involved? Thank Him for the opportunity and pray for insight to determine other opportunities around you today. Be prepared to get out of your seat.

Extra Refreshment: Read Acts 17 and notice how Paul turns a normal, everyday situation into an incredible witnessing opportunity.

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