Your actions validate your faith.

James is writing a letter to 1st century Jewish Christians who are now living in Gentile communities.  The book that he wrote is considered the most practical book on Christian living.  He asks a major question: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (James 2:14).

James is saying silent faith does not point people to Christ … our faith must turn into actions.  He later says, “Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds” (James 2:18).  You words … your behavior … show people Jesus – or at least is supposed to.

Faith is the starting point. Behavior is the sustaining point.  Each of us needs to make sure that our actions our validating our faith and not vilifying it.  Everything we say and do reveal what we believe within our hearts.

Scripture declares, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act …” (Matthew 7:16).  You see, your actions validate your faith.  You are known by what you do … not what you think or hope.

Your actions are so important. Your actions can shine Jesus or hide Jesus from your family and friends.

Your example becomes someone else’s experience.

The Book of 2 Kings covers the reign of 27 different kings – 16 from Judah and 11 from Israel. Out the 27 kings only 2, Hezekiah and Josiah, served the Lord with their whole heart.  7% of the kings were a positive example.

The result: God’s people made bad decisions, worshipped idols, faced difficult times and became a reflection of their leaders.  What’s the point? Your example becomes someone else’s experience.

If you want your kids to put God first in their lives – you have to put God first in your life.

If you want your friends to attend church with you – be an example of the Christian life at work.

If you hope your spouse comes to faith in God – make sure that you are pushing them toward God by your actions.

You see, what we do matters. There is power in our actions.  Proverbs 4:26: “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”  We have to think before we act or speak.

Do you know why God gave us two ears and one month? So we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The words careful thought in the original Hebrew means “to weight it out” – in other words, to consider the consequences.

Will this action help or hurt people?

Am I “weighing out” what I say on social media?

Do I consider the words I speak and actions I take?

We have to weigh it out because our example becomes someone else’s experience.

Live in Peace.

Peace. It is something every person needs, but so many live without.  We have peace because the Prince of Peace lives within our lives.

When storms comes … live in peace.

When difficulty arises … stay in peace.

When people attack you … don’t lose your peace.

When things aren’t going your way … remain in peace.

Living in peace is more than just ignoring the problem – it is recognizing God has already worked out the solution.  God is already planning your victory.  He is already working for your win and when you know that you can live at peace.

That’s what Nicholas Ridley did. In 1555, Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ.  On the night before his execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort.

Nicholas declined the offer and said, “I will go to bed and sleep as quietly as I ever did before because I am at peace with God.”

You see, you cannot have the peace of God until you are first at peace with God and that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus.   You see, if we have Jesus we ought to be able to live in peace. Not just living with peace but living in peace.

And one of the most difficult places to live in peace is with people … can I get a witness?  People will try and rob our peace – most of them unintentionally.  Scripture says, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).  I want you to focus on the words ALL THAT YOU CAN … there are some people that do not want to live in peace with you – they will fight you, ridicule you, gossip about you and hurt you.

Your job is to do all that you can … but don’t let them steal your peace.  If someone does not want to live in peace with you they don’t deserve a platform in you.  Move on. Keep your peace. Bite your tongue.  Don’t respond to the haters and debaters.

Choose to live in peace.

Stay Positive.

Negativity starts in the mind. It always starts with a thought and that thought becomes words and those words become choices and those choices become your life.

You have to stay positive in your mind.  The Bible says it this way, “As a person thinks within himself, so is he.” (Prov 23:7 – NASB).  You are a product of your thoughts.

We can’t focus on everything wrong … we have to see what is right in our lives!  Here’s what I have learned, “Your outlook becomes your outcome.”  You see, negative things may come TO you, but they do not have to pass THRU you.

Stay positive!

What keeps us from being positive? Or why do we always see the negative before we see the positive?

  • Unpleasant Past – so many people live in the past instead of learn from it. I am not diminishing what you may have experienced, but I know that holding on to the past can cripple your potential.
  • Unreasonable People – the world is filled with negative people. Too many people who only see the black dot – they fail to see all the good stuff happening around them.
  • Uncertain Future – some get stuck in the black dot hole because they can’t see anything in front of them – the good or the bad. They are uncertain – so they become negative – which means they never move forward.
  • Negative Inner-Dialogue – this is huge – I think a lot of times we are self-toxic because we repeat the negative thoughts, words or whatever over and over again in our heads.

Did you realize it takes 10 positive comments to override 1 negative comment?

Our world makes it difficult to stay positive.  That’s why if we are positive – if we see God’s goodness in everything we experience –  people will notice a difference in you.

Stay positive. Its one of the greatest actions you can make with your life.

The Power of Your Actions

Our behavior has a lot more influence than most of us think.  That’s why it is so important to make sure that we are living our lives as positive examples.  We have to show those around us what it means to live a godly life.

A godly life is not a perfect life. It does not mean that we will always get it right in every decision … but to live a godly life means we are trying to the best of our ability to show that we belong to God.

You see, your actions speak.

When you remain in peace when problems arise – you are saying, “God is in control.”

When you refuse to make wrong choices with peer pressure around you – you are saying, “God has something better for me.”

When you don’t get angry at your boss for looking you over for a promotion – you are saying, “God is my resource.”

When you remain faithful to your spouse when friends are being unfaithful to theirs – you are saying, “I am going to honor the covenant I made with God.”

Your actions speak.  They say much more than the action … because behind after action there is a reason for it.  Your actions SHOUT your beliefs.

I love what the Psalmist prayed, “Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees” (Psalm 119:5).  In other words, there is such power in our actions that we have to work very hard to make sure that our behavior reflects our beliefs.

Jesus is teaching from a mountain. He tells the listeners: “You are {say, “I am”} the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Jesus is telling this crowd – your actions affect those around you.  Notice, if you do good, if you do the right thing – everyone else will celebrate God.  In other words, there is power in your actions … power to help others raise their praise!  Power to show someone the love of Jesus.

Power to encourage … power to motivate … power to inspire … there is power in your actions!

Leadership Roundtable w/ Mark Batterson

Roundtable with Mark Batterson

Pretty excited about hosting Mark Batterson on the first leg of his book tour.  If you are a leader and you want to get inspired join us on October 14.  We only have 100 seats available.  Email christina@toddbishop.tv to RSVP.

All guests that RSVP will receive 3 things:

  • FREE Copy of Mark’s new book “IF”
  • FREE CD of NCC Worship’s new album
  • FREE lunch

And all you have to do is let us know you are coming.  Don’t miss this amazing event at Church Unleashed – 17 Herzog Place – Hicksville NY 11801.

Jesus Is The Hope of The World.

You see, I am fully convinced that Jesus is what everyone needs.  I love what Max Lucado wrote: “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.”  God sent us His one and only Son to redeem or rescue us from our sins.

Matthew 12:21 declares, “And his name will be the hope of all the world.”  It’s his name that brings hope to the hurting … life to the spiritually dead … refreshing to those who feel dry … and satisfaction to those looking for answers.  It’s his name that causes the enemy to run … sickness to flee … and problems to dissipate.  It’s his name that inspires people to love … motivates people to give … and drives people to serve.

Jesus is the HOPE of the world.

He hope for the drug addict … hope for the homeless … hope for the abused … hope for the sick … hope for the neglected … hope for the widow … hope for the discouraged and depressed … hope for the up-and-outer, as well as, the down-and-outer.  Jesus is HOPE!

Scripture declares, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls …” (Hebrews 6:19).  When you have HOPE in Jesus you are secure!  When you are anchored to Jesus you will always have hope.  You will have hope when the doctors have no answers.  You will have hope when your job is in jeopardy.  You will have hope when your marriage is facing difficult times.  His hope is our anchor.

Jesus is the ONLY hope for the world.