Practice of One’s Faith
Practice of One’s Faith
Dead is what some could call faith that does not produce fruit or good works (Jms. 2:14-16, NIV). There are two chosen vocations where I show and practice a Biblical worldview. The first is work within the local church body, which occurs now as I function as a quasi-pastor intern at Sanibel Community Church. The second vocation is as co-owner of a cleaning company with my wife Robin. Two examples I will discuss in this Biblical Worldview assignment center around the Greatest Commandment (Mt. 22:34-39; Mk. 12:28-31) and how I respond and treat others (Gal. 5:22-25 & Col. 3:13-16).
Example 1: Loving the Lord First
Because God says I should love Him first above things, blessings, and activity, I pray that the Lord, His son Jesus, and the Holy spirit work in my life, to guide me to stay on the path of loving the Lord first (Mt. 6:31-33; Mt. 6:24; Jn. 3:30; Col. 3:1-4). What does this mean from a practical standpoint of demonstrating and practicing a Biblical worldview? This means that thoughts when waking up, each minute of the day, and when placing my head upon my pillow, involve thoughts what God has done (Gn. 1 & 2; Jn. 3:16-17), what He is doing (Is. 64:8 & 66:13; 2 Cor. 12:8-9), and what He is going to do (Rev. 21:4).
When my life centers around loving God I rest in his peace (Phil. 4:6; 2 Thess. 3:16; 1 Pt. 5:7). Because I rest in Christ’s peace when I am working “in” ministry or in the world, I can focus on the people the Lord places within my traffic pattern. Before Christ, I would think how could I overcome the other person. In other words, I was not trying to serve as Christ served (Jn. 13:1-17). I was trying to keep and gain material and earthly treasure much as the rich young ruler was trying to keep his wealth (Mk. 10:17-30, Lk. 18:18-30). Focus on how God commands treatment of others (Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:13-16) allows me to serve closer to how Christ served (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Romans 4:25-5:2).
Example 2: Loving Others
Because I have the peace of Christ within me, I can treat others with love. What this means goes beyond simply not cheating others out of money. Because I choose to fill out my taxes with integrity, yet, loving others is a debt I owe others, behaving decently with a focus on the Lord and lessening desires of the self (Mk. 12:17; Lk. 20:25; Rm. 13). Treating others with respect even when I do not understand why they do what they do is one way to love another. God created each person, saved or unsaved, and as such, each person is as valuable as another, shown by the value of a single sheep, coin, or son (Lk. 15).
For example, as part of the pastoral counseling the church involves me in I run across people who have an issue with trust, manipulation, or hurtful words. Sometimes direction of one’s mistrust, manipulation, or harmful words is towards me. The importance in remembering what Christ has done for me and how God commands me to respond allows the outpouring of Christ to come from within me and respond with a small glimmer of the grace, mercy, and compassion the Lord gave me. While I do not do this perfectly, I can see how God has worked in my life over the years and how he slowly peels a layer of “worldliness” off me each day, and sometimes moment-by-moment, so I can shine His light to the world (Mt. 5:14-16 & Eph. 5:8).
Example 3: How to Treat Others
God gives Christians clear commands on how to treat one another (Gal. 5:22-25 & Col. 3:13-16). I think the stress on the fruit of the spirits in the Bible is because of how uniquely God created each person (Ps. 139:13-16, 1 Cor. 12). Because each Christian differs than another, the relationships between one another can have conflict and one must respond with patience, love, understanding, peace, forbearance, and all the gifts of the spirit. God is smart to know how His people behave and to loves his or people enough to give instructions on how to act.
Another revelation God gives His people comes from James 4:1-10. In this section of the Bible God is pointing out, through James, that Christians, including me, are prone to fight and struggle against one another because of his or her sin nature. Because I know I am a sinner (Rms. 3:23), yet knowing my salvation is by grace though no effort of my own (Eph. 2:8-9), I can give over my sinful desires to Christ, and respond to my brothers and sisters in Christ with the fruit of the spirits. In addition, I can respond to secular people in the same way. Christ gave up everything for me and I can do the same for others through His power in me (1 Pt. 2:9).
God wants His people to work out one’s faith in his or her vocation. Because God and Jesus paid the maximum price for Believers, I think that loving the Lord, loving His people, and manifesting the fruit of the spirits is how I choose to respond to God’s gift. Each day I trust in the Lord to fill me with His power, so that I may overflow to the world with His light. By asking and surrendering to God each day and minute-by-minute I come closer to the glorious creation He designed me to become.
How about you? How do you practice your faith? High five!