Warmth. Can you feel it, feel it?
As is commonplace in the Buckeye State, weather changes occur swiftly and dramatically.
Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. In less time than it takes to drive south to Florida, we can go from a frigid frost to tepid temps in Ohio.
To me, it seems this week has suddenly morphed into summertime. When the sun shines and blue skies beckon our lumbering back to life from the winter doldrums, I’m always inspired to get out in it, in it. I’m not sure where the passion for outdoor activity and physical exertion has been hiding, but it blooms unabandoned at the first hint of warmth reviving.
Yesterday the thermometer hit nearly 80. Following months of lethargy, and without any concern for atrophied muscles, I kicked into gear like a modified tractor on rocket fuel.
After weeding the gardens, mowing the lawn, starting repair on a brick terrace, and taking a long walk on the bike trail, I think I blew a gasket.
I got out of bed this morning, walking like Grandpa on “The Real McCoys.” I better understand why some folks laboriously wobble back and forth when ambling to and fro. Ambulating about with aching hips just hurts too much not to limp! And so, I’m limping today, but it was worth it.
You see, when springtime finally hits its stride towards summer, motivation springs from within. Increased activity just bubbles up for me. It’s automatic. I can’t help it, help it.
There’s an intriguing biblical parallel about the value of being active, specifically referring to our spiritual activity. 1 Timothy 4:8 tells us, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
I’m talking about having an active faith.
Anyone can proclaim to have faith, but the proof is in the pudding. True faith is expressed by one’s life. When someone has genuine faith in God, it is always evidenced by their works; their actions.
Jesus said, “every tree is known by its own fruit”, (Luke 6:44). An apple tree produces apples; an orange tree produces oranges; and a faith tree produces action.
In the book of James, there is a powerful passage you might want to look at: chapter 2, verses 14-26. The author, James, is drawing a comparison between those who say they have faith, and those who show they have faith.
The person who has an active faith, a faith that can be seen, is the more credible example of a faithful person.
It’s really that simple, and that automatic.
Just like outdoor activity springs from good weather, true faith moves dynamically also. It produces organically. It isn’t stagnant, inert or passive. It’s alive.
Faith likes to move it, move it, and always will.
Let me ask, how are we doing with that? Do your actions consistently express your faith?
Next week, we’ll talk more about faith maturing through the seasons of life, OK?
Dave Hinman is Pastor Emeritus at Dove Church Wilmington. Contact him at [email protected]