In the book of James we are reminded in several different ways that belief in God is not what matters. James instructs, even the demons believe in God. No what matters is the way we live out that belief everyday. In no way shape or form are we saved by our good works. Salvation comes from grace, and grace alone. Yet, is our salvation so we can hang a certificate on our wall noting that we are part of the saved. Or, is our salvation a true commencement.
No matter how the day or time arrived there comes a point in the life of every Christ Follower when there is a realization of need, the need of the atonement of Christ. That time is not a destination, rather it is a new beginning. The time when we realize the work of Christ on the cross was on our behalf, as the time we begin to realize we do not live for ourselves. There are no two ways around it, if we have belief in God, great, so me the fruit of that belief.
This morning I had an experience which made me so proud of the church I pastor. Over the last week, our church of about 100 people collected 70 presents to be shared with children living in poverty this Christmas through our local Headstart. As I was dropping off the gift I heard one of the works say, "That church is so generous." Followed by another staff person, "I know they are so willing to give of themselves."
I realize there is not a one to one with generosity and living our faith, but they are deeply connected. I cannot determine the motives of all the people who gave gifts. I cannot even judge where their heart is in relation to Christ. I can tell you that I could see the fruits of their labors as I dropped off those gifts.