With so much going on in our modern world we are forced to prioritize things in our lives. Work, school, kids, wife, friends, family, gym, fun… oh ya and God. But while we are busy running around doing this and that, we have no shame saying that Jesus is Lord. At work we may talk about our religion to co-workers. At school we may mention him. To our friends and family we may also talk about Jesus. We will share bible verse and talk about God on our social networks. At the gym he might cross our mind. But at what point is all that just talk; when he is not actually Lord over our life and we are not actually serving him.
Our actions are manifestations of our heart.
So if we are not involved in ministries, rarely attend church except on religious holidays or just with friends, rarely privately study the bible but post verses on our facebook, but be unreliable when it comes to fellowship; how then is Jesus Lord? He’ not.
So then why do we like to talk about him and post stuff about him on our social networks? We are trying to either portray a Christian image for the world to see or we are trying to make our selves feel better about how we don’t serve him. Either way, it speaks of our heart; We are not submitting to the will of God but trying to keep control of our lives and do everything we want to do and fitting in a little Jesus when its convenient. That is not genuine faith.
A people that have faith that Jesus is their Lord live like this:
Acts 2:42, 46
“they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts”
“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
They are devoted to scripture and fellowship every day together and were glad. They did not neglect coming together and were serving each other in love. And all this is because they wanted to! They prioritized their day and planned time for this. They made scripture, fellowship, and service part of their every day thing. Because of their faith; they were compelled to act. But they acted because they wanted to and desired to. James makes it the most clear and to the point:
“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. “
Your faith is not true faith if it does not compel you to live it out! And merely talking about Jesus is not living out your faith. Its just lip service. And Jesus has something to say about that:
“These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.”
Those who only talk about Jesus and don’t actually prioritize him have faith in something called “easy beliefism” This is where they believe that just by simply making the statement “I believe Jesus” is enough. That repeating that statement is some kind of faith and therefore they are Christian and saved. What they fail to see is obedience and service is a fruit of the spirit that WILL manifest in genuine believers who are truly believe as their Lord God and not just a savior.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
Obedience in serves the Lord is expected and saving Faith compels it. This means that because of our true faith; we want and DO make serving the Lord and obeying Him a priority in our life. The early church in Acts is the scriptural example of this.
2 Corinthians 13:5
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
This is a very simple test for yourself. Just look at your life and what you do on a daily and weekly basis and ask your self:
If it is not a easy “Yes” than it is a obvious “No” and if its an obvious “No” than there is a problem with in your heart. Why are you NOT making Jesus a daily and weekly priority? Why are you only paying him lip service but serving your self as priority? Now here comes a tough question that every person needs to know the answer to: “Is your faith really dead?” Not that you lost it (you can’t) but do you really believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ to the point it forces you to live daily and weekly for him? Examine your self and know if you are in the faith or in your own dead faith.
Priorities are the fruit that we can judge for ourselves.
“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God”
“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Know your fruit by who and what you serve (a verb) on a daily and weekly basis. This is not merely talking about Jesus but “living a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” which is “bearing fruit in every good work”.
Genuine faith compels us to bear good fruit in life that pleases the Lord. The reverse is also true as Jesus points out. Dead faith results in the production of bad fruit in life that is not pleasing to the Lord.