16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We once had someone come over to our house and remark "Oh, your stove looks like new. You must not cook often." Truth is, we cook at home everyday. But the sentiment was a true one...things that are used usually look worn. Effort changes the appearance of things and people.
You can tell the difference between the saw of a carpenter and the saw of someone who only picks it up a couple times a year. If you ever look at the feet of professional ballerinas, they look awful. They move with grace, but their feet are calloused and bruised from their efforts. You can tell when someone works out regularly, because it shows in their physical appearance.
It's funny that the best outcomes take the same input. A recent study came out that it takes 10,000 hours to master a subject, whether that's a musical instrument, or exploring physics. Regardless of the talent of the person applying the effort, it still takes time to get to the point where the operation just flows. You can be born with a gift to play a guitar, but you still have to build up callouses in order to play well for a long period of time. And those callouses only come from actually playing. You can't study them into being. You can't believe them into being. Your gift is real, but so is the work.
This is true in our spiritual walk too. Our salvation is a gift of God. But our relationship, like all relationships, requires work. It takes time, communication, and effort. When we accept Christ, our salvation is a matter of fact. We are sealed until redemption. But that walk in Christ is a lifestyle that is perfected over time. It has to be a daily choice and effort has to be expended. Jesus is not a genie. He's not a lucky charm. He is the door of restoration to relationship with the Father.
The door is open and the work is before you and I. The effort is ours to expend. It's time to put in the work. It's time to wear the knees in prayer, the eyes in study and the heart in pursuing the Father. It's time to put on the gear and do the work as called, and to expect exactly what the Father intends and not try to bend His will to ours. It's time to get the stove dirty, put the saws to use and break in those shoes. All effort towards God is valuable just as effort against Him is futile.
And don't worry about your feet. God said the feet that carry the Gospel are beautiful.
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Joy to you.
Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.
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