We believe that we are justified by faith alone and not by works. But, faith is something we have to actually do (nobody will believe for us). So, how is faith not a work?
Throughout the Bible, God seems to be saying one thing over and over again to people: Will you trust me? How do we know that people are trusting him? Trust leaves footprints.
Rather than simply being mechanical, giving is a spiritual discipline that is a tangible expression of our faith in God to provide for us and to use what we give for his work.
If we avoid peace for the sake of personal comfort then we prize peace over comfort. This is selfish, anti-gospel, and harmful to the church. Therefore it is something that we should make sure that we are not doing.
I recently visited with an unbelieving friend about why he stopped going to church. His answers defied the conventional church growth wisdom. It also broke my heart.
This gospel is so gloriously appropriate. It is the calibration for all of life. It instructs marriages and wipes away the widows tears. It humbles the proud and strengthens the weak. And in every situation it asserts itself as the beautiful sufficient, ultimate priority of all of life. The gospel is gloriously versatile.
Have you considered that your actions can hinder your greatest blessing?
We never know how God is secretly working for his glory but we do know that he is. And as a result, we must be all the more diligent to do the same on our watch.
How powerful is this gospel? The first missionary that Jesus sends was formerly a streaking, demon-possessed, howling, tomb-dwelling, outlaw.
Because backsliding and apostasy both look the same in their early stages we must be careful not to relativize or excuse patterns of spiritual apathy.