“. . . in which you shine . . . like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15).
“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
My new Flourishing Faith Bible study Shine Your Light explores service, compassion, justice, action . . . the doing side of our faith. Take time to journey through this excerpt as we wrap up our discussion on doing.
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“I will show you my faith by what I do” (James 2:18b). Faith—believing in the good news—is intricately interconnected with action. Just as faith demonstrates itself in works, works proclaim our faith to the world. Our actions, demeanor, words, character, and way of life declare a message!
. . . One powerful theme interwoven throughout the book of James is that what we believe ought to show itself in what we do and how we act:
• We’re to truly listen to God’s Word and respond by doing what it says (1:22-25)
• As believers in our compassionate, just, and merciful God, we’re to live the good news by caring for the poor, vulnerable, and overlooked (1:27; 2:1-13).
• Living the gospel means loving our neighbors as ourselves—and that includes seemingly “unimportant” people (2:1-13).
• Belief in the gospel demonstrates itself in our actions (2:14-26).
• Our actions and demeanor reveal that we are aligned with a new way of thinking as we live by values “from above” (3:13, 17-18).
• When God leads us to do good, it’s imperative that we respond (4:17).
• Materialism and injustice toward the poor are absolutely contrary to the gospel (5:1-6).
• Intimacy with God through prayer empowers a gospel-transformed life (5:13-20).
. . . What can you do today to proclaim the gospel through action?
Who can you serve? Is there a practical need you could meet for another person?
Can you do something just? In some way, can you address poverty, racism, or a larger issue of systemic injustice?
Who can you welcome? Is there a “neighbor” you can love by extending kindness? Is there a stranger you can love as if he or she were Jesus?
Are there words you can speak? Words of encouragement, truth, empathy, compassion, grace or hope? Words that explain the gospel message?
. . . In an attitude of listening, take time to pray about the message your life proclaims. Use these prompts to help you enter a time of communication with God.
God, thank you for the good news! Thank you for . . .
God, your good news has changed my life—and is changing my life. I see your work in my life in so many ways . . .
God, I desire to proclaim my faith in my life! Will you show me how I can grow?
How can my life proclaim that I am forgiven and I live in your grace?
How can my life proclaim the good news of your justice? Your welcome? Your compassion? Your love for the vulnerable?
How can my life proclaim the values of your kingdom?
How can my life proclaim that you are Lord of my life?
God, help the good news to always be good news to me.
Help me to shine with the light of your love.
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Interested in going deeper into the ideas of compassion, justice, service, action, and evangelism? Consider journeying through Shine Your Light. And if you’d like to explore it with friends or in a small group study, use this free guide to dig into invigorating discussion together.