I was cleaning recently while looking for something I needed, but couldn’t recall exactly where I’d placed it, and I found a gift someone had given me quite some time ago. Now why, I asked myself, didn’t I ever use this? It would have come in handy several times, but evidently I had put it away and forgotten all about it.
I opened my Bible this morning and some notes I’d written a while back fell out. It was about our Christian faith and the different denominations of churches…and the need for us all to come together in one body. The reference I used for it was Ephesians 2: 8 which reminds us that we are saved by faith…not something we can create ourselves, but faith is a gift from God. A gift not to be set on a shelf or placed in a drawer to be forgotten, but a gift that saves us from the power of sin…which has to be the greatest gift of all.
Too many times, we do put this gift away and fail to use it, Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, reminds us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” (This vocation being to serve the Lord.) “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The book of James also speaks of the importance of using our gift of faith which leads to good works. Our faith must inspire action on our part and for others. “Faith without works is dead.”
A strong faith makes it possible for us to meet the challenges of everyday life head-on and develops endurance…strength to meet the next one even stronger. Faith understands temptations and will keep us from giving in to it. Faith in action obeys God’s Word. It will not merely hear and not do something.
Faith also helps us to control our tongue and keep our words in check. How many of us really need help with this? I know I do. It gives us the ability to ignore earthly wisdom and the desire to follow the latest trend. Faith urges us to follow God’s wisdom and to act wisely always. It separates us from the world and allows us to draw close to God. Faith is our shield against the wiles of Satan. Through faith we wait for the coming of Jesus with patience…without complaining.
Like Paul said, faith is a gift from God and all we have to do is accept it; believe that Jesus is who He said He is: The Son of God who came not to condemn us for our sins, but to save us from them. Today is the day of salvation. Won’t you accept the gift He is offering? Then you’ll understand why it is the greatest gift you will ever receive.