TRUST: Words Without Work is Useless

In the post TRUST: Jesus, The Bread of Heaven, I referenced Jesus conveying that He was the Bread of Heaven. One of the most powerful and light giving verses that I have read is in that passage. In John 6:29, Jesus provides the foundation for God’s call to TRUST in Jesus. In referring to the people who were there the text tells us “28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”” The freeing verses in the following verse that contains Jesus’ response. “29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”” Jesus tells me that the primary and truly only work is to believe in the one God has sent who is Jesus. The primary work of any follower of Christ is to believe in Jesus as God incarnate who served as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of man and through whom man can be considered righteous and enter into a relationship with God. It also led me to title this post TRUST: Words Without Work is Useless as I reread Mark 7

Mark 7

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

In Mark 7, Jesus addresses the people who claim to believe and follow God. He condemns the intent of their hearts, thus their hearts. He condemns their worship as not authentic, as heartless. We know from the Old and New Testaments that God has required man to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” Jesus is saying TRUST: Words Without Work is Useless

Jesus told us that the work of God is to believe in Him. Was He saying that there are no actions or tasks required of man? No. He was saying that God cares more about the motive of what we do. What we do must have its origins in trusting Jesus. James weighs in on the matter of works. We don’t work to win God’s approval. We work because God has approved of us through the Christ the Savior and our obedience to His Word. James 1:22 tells us “22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Furthermore, James tells us “17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James joined Jesus in condemning TRUST: Words Without Work Is Useless

In response to the latest shootings of citizens in Louisiana and Minnesota and the officers in Dallas, TRUST: Words Without Work is Useless was stated by a fellow brother, Andy Cheely who wrote “Istanbul and Baton Rouge and Dallas are the same evil, seeking the same end via different means. Both make me furious and frustrated. And there must be more than social media posts, quotes and calls to action. Stop skipping or seeking to avoid jury duty. Do vote or even better run for an office. Refuse to laugh at, listen to or tell ethnic/racial “jokes.” Don’t stereotype and generalize from news accounts because you have no personal engagement point of your own. Righteousness and love must be lived out, demonstrated, not simply proclaimed. Words without deeds…” Words without deeds resonated with me. It has caused me to think over the past two days about how do I make my faith, my belief in Jesus as the one God sent, active in this world. I wonder am I just about words and show as the Pharisees and some teachers of the law were that Jesus condemns in Mark 7.

The larger question is How am I honoring Jesus with my lips, but my hearts is far from Him? How do I worship Jesus in vain by espousing rules or traditions? God requires genuine faith. Again, James said, “26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” What deeds/work am I not engaged in that I should be. What deeds/work am I engaged in from false or impure motives. For those of us who call Jesus Lord and Savior, Jesus is telling us all TRUST: Words Without Work is Useless. 

Don’t know where your heart is in your work or lack there of? Read, listen, study, memorize or meditate on the Word of God. It will be revealed as we are told in Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Check yourself; Jesus is telling us all TRUST: Words Without Work is Useless. 


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