“But someone will say ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18 (ESV)
I have the privilege of being able to attend a short term missions trip in just over a week. The trip is specifically designed for students and I am really looking forward to it. I will have the opportunity to show my faith by my works and share the gospel.
Works are the fruit of salvation. I am saved through believing but I have works because it is a small way that I can thank God for his grace. His son dying on the cross for my sins should not be taken for granted.
As I think about the upcoming trip though, I realise how many of my works are for self-gain. I enjoy running a kids program because I love playing with kids. When I act out a skit, then I will get applause at the end. Almost all the acts that I do are to make myself feel good. That isn’t what God wants from me though.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” Matthew 6:2 (ESV)
Ok, so I’m not physically blowing trumpets and yelling in the streets that people must watch me act out my good deeds. However, I often catch myself feeling upset when people don’t notice what I do. Isn’t that almost the same thing? Matthew 6:3-4 goes on to say that I mustn’t even let my left hand know what the right is doing and that my Father who sees me in secret will reward me. I want other people to see my works, so that means that my left hand definitely knows what my right is doing. My attitude is to get self-glory instead of pointing everything to God. I should be doing works for Him. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for me, so surely I should do everything I can for His glory?