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Faith Is the Work

Daily Reading: John 6

 

This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent. (John 6.29)

 

Devotional Thought: Jesus had been asked by would-be followers, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”  As we read the story, we get the sense that they wanted to do the bare minimum.  They weren’t interested in doing anything extra.  Jesus answered their question simply, and I paraphrase: This is the work: Believe in me!  Here again we encounter the tension between faith and works that is found throughout the Bible.

 

In Deuteronomy 10.12-13, "What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?”  To “fear the Lord your God” (analogous to have faith), Moses added some other things that could be seen as works: walk, love, serve, and keep…

 

In Micah 6.8 we read: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”  Once again, the inspired Word indicates that faith in God is something more than simple mental assent or intellectual acceptance.  It is something that is working in our lives. 

 

That’s why Jesus described faith as a “work” in today’s verse.  Real faith results in change. As the reformers said, “We are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.”  We believe; then out of that belief flow works which bear fruit.  So, faith is the work.

 

Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I get so tied up and bogged down in trying to separate faith and works.  Rather, enable me to do the things to which my faith calls me.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 34.15-22

15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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