. . . faith, by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ~ James 2:17b
READING: Genesis 6:9-22
The Hebrew concept of faith makes the practical assumption that if people truly believe a message (aman) they will act on it in some way. For instance, if I heard a news flash warning that a hurricane was headed my way, I would demonstrate that I believed the message by boarding up my windows and heading for higher ground.
In the Hebrew parlance, whatever people do simply because they believe the message becomes an amunah – an act of faith. When the Apostle James said that faith without works is dead, he was speaking from this thoroughly Hebrew mindset.
Noah’s story illustrates this relationship between aman and amunah. Hebrews 11:7 states that, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen [that’s aman], in holy fear built an ark to save his family [that’s amunah].” Noah’s “amunahs” included all the items on his “To Do” list: the carpentry tasks, work schedules, planning and design meetings, the collection of animals and food stuffs, as well as the sermons he preached to warn those who came to gawk.
Take heart, as you look at that long list of items on your “To Do” list, the TimeLine and TaskList as applicable to planting a church in your corner of the Lord’s vineyard. Each one is a potential expression of faith. Each one has been infused with a deeper significance because it helps to bring your church planter’s faith to life. Each seemingly trivial detail, when done in humble dependence on God, is counted by heaven’s reckoning as an act of faith.
Father, Help me to do gladly, as an act of faith, all the little tasks necessary to turn the vision of this church plant into a reality. Amen.
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