"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
I love hearing the people talk about all the things they are doing for God and for the advancement of His kingdom. I love hearing about people going to foreign lands and reaching out to people who have never heard the gospel. I love seeing students go to homeless shelters in our communities and feeding them and meeting their needs. I love seeing our church ministry teams going out into the community and helping the senior adults and the shut-ins. These are fruits of the Spirit who lives in us. These are works that are produced by a saving faith. However, we must be careful. We must not think that our works and good deeds are what saves us. THEY DO NOT! It if faith in Jesus Christ that saves us. It is the grace of God, the gift of God that saves us. Through the grace and the gift of God, our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces a saving faith that works in our lives. James said it this way in James 2:14-17, "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." Verse 19 goes on to say, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder." Just because we do good things doesn't necessarily mean we have faith. Likewise, just because we say we have faith doesn't mean that we actually do. If we have faith in the true and living God, then our lifestyle and our actions will show it. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will drive us to be more like Him in every way: the way we speak, the way we think, and the way we act. But when it comes right down to it, it's not really about what we are doing; it's all about what He has done for us and what He continues to do for us and through us! Let's choose to focus on His goodness and boast in Him and not in ourselves.