A quarter's worth?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If we neglect a faith that is moved to action long enough will it be a faith so diminished that it just doesn’t click in anymore; even when the need is so obvious that compassion ought to lead us to act?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

I don’t know how many times I have looked for a flashlight over the years and not been able to find one. Flashlights are one of those things that seem to have a knack for growing legs and walking in our house. Mostly because, of course, I usually am the culprit that doesn’t put them back from where I found them in the first place. There was one in particular that I really liked though,—sturdy, heavy and brilliant when switched-on. It was as much a tool as a torch in some ways. Then one day I laid it down, forgot I had done that, moved on and forgot completely where I had put it. I looked for it on and off for weeks until I finally broke down and bought another. Then, unexpectedly, I ran across my old flashlight. I was delighted and quickly went to snap the switch and turn it on. There was no light, however. Having been laid aside for so many months, the batteries had gone dead. Despite its potential, it was now useless in the state it was in.

That potentially great flashlight is, in many ways, similar to our faith. Believing in God gives us real beauty and tremendous potential. But that faith, if left alone and forgotten, is as good as dead if we don’t employ it. Faith knowledge is one thing. But, faith action is another.

Here’s a story that illustrates the point. A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. He care- fully cradled them in his arms and headed for the door. Walking out of the store, he unfortunately tripped and dropped the sack. It fell with a thud, the eggs broke, and the sidewalk was a mess. The boy tried not to cry but the loss of those precious eggs soon brought tears to his eyes. He sobbed openly as he tried to clean up his mess. A few people gathered to see if he was hurt and to tell him how sorry they were. They patted him on the shoulder and offered him a kind word of consolation. They even tried to help him clean up the mess. In the midst of all these works of pity, another man walked up and handed the sobbing boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, “I care 25 cents worth. That’s a start. Now, how much do the rest of you care?” (Stanley C. Brown.)

The Bible tells us that compassion always leads to action. The Apostle James writes. “If one of you says to [his brother, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” What good are words? Words don’t mean much if we can act. Faith and works should travel side-by-side, step answering to step, in a way like the legs of a man walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other. Although we can’t earn our salvation through our deeds, the fact that we have true faith causes us to want to do good deeds. It’s causation. Words don’t mean much if we have the ability to do more. Belief, faith and trust need hands and feet—ours! Neglect that long enough and your faith may be so diminished that it just doesn’t click in anymore; even when the need is so obvious that compassion ought to lead us to act.

We pray. Heavenly Father, we have faith, but are sometimes not sufficiently moved to use that faith in action. Often we stop at the point of actually helping others simply because it may cost us resources and steal our time. Forgive us when we lack the compassion to do more when we are always tempted to do less. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!" <markcbrunner@thispassingday.com>

God bless you for Jesus sake.

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