My Grace-Full Life

3.18.22 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Faith & Good Works

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Here’s a Friday morning question:  Where do good works get you?

Trick question!  Nowhere!  We are saved by His grace through faith, not by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We can’t earn our salvation or buy God’s love. Only Jesus could pay the debt for us, and God sent Him to do so because He loves us (John 3:16). A good example: the thief on the cross who confessed Jesus as the Son of God made a deathbed confession. Though he was still alive, he lacked the time or resources to try to start doing good in the world. He was saved by Jesus’ grace through faith in Him… not by works. This dying man certainly had nothing left to boast about.

But even though our works won’t save us, Jesus still said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

So it begs the question… Where do our good works get others?  

It seems like a complicated answer, but it really boils down to something simple. Our good works contribute nothing to our salvation, but they may open the door to someone else’s. Our good works demonstrate the transformative power of God. Good works show His power and glory in our lives, and they allow others to see Jesus.

I loved the NKJV Study Bible’s notes on this verse…. It says, “The believer does not have inherent light; rather we have reflective light. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we reflect it.” Isn’t that beautiful? Our salvation is about Him! And so are our good works! We aren’t the source of the light, but we reflect it for others to see Jesus — the Light of the world (John 8:12).

It reminded me of Moses when he spent time in the presence of God. Exodus 34:29b says, “Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.” Verse 30 records the fear of the Israelites when they saw his face shining, and by verses 33-35, Moses wore a veil after being with God in order to speak to the people.

But the veil is off! Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

From the moment a person first believes in Jesus, they begin the process of sanctification — being made more like Him. Obviously, we have to make an effort. We serve a God who is a gentleman. Even as He gives each of us the choice to accept or reject Christ, so we also need to actively decide to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. We can skip Bible study and overlook prayer; the Holy Spirit won’t force us to do it. But the Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives. And I promise from personal experience, the believer can’t be comfortably passive in their faith.

Jesus’ brother James wrote of this — faith without works is dead (James 2:17). He continued in verse 18b, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James wasn’t minimizing the power of faith, but rather he was emphasizing that actions speak louder than words. We can say all day long, “I believe in Jesus,” but our works back up our beliefs! After all, what good is a candle without the flame? So it is with our faith and works. We say, “I believe,” and then, through our actions, prove our words and show others how Jesus changed us.

Going back to today’s signature verse…. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV). Shine. See. Glorify. Those are three action words of the verse, but there’s a fourth seemingly insignificant word we cannot overlook — Let. “Let” is a verb. 

Today, make the conscious decision to LET your light shine to the glory of God.

Today, choose to act in a way that LETS others see the belief you profess.

Today, make decisions that reflect the light of Christ, and LET others see Jesus in you.

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being the Light of the world and the immeasurable privilege of reflecting His light. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live your faith out loud for others to see Jesus in you.

SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.

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