Faith has to be accompanied by deeds. Deeds by definition is an action that is performed intentionally. Deeds can be good or bad. The idea is that our faith will bear fruit. A tree is known by the fruit it bears. Faith without works is dead. Faith without good deeds is like a barren tree. It produces no fruit. What are you producing? Are you being intentional with your faith? Is your faith followed by deeds?
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Fearless by definition means to lack fear. Fear can not exist in a place that is full of faith. Faith is the opposite of fear. Fear is defined by anxiety. Fear is synonymous with worry, dread, and trepidation. To truly be fearless, one must embrace hope and a positive outlook no matter the circumstance. The true journey to being fearless is simply to fear…..less.
Life is full of distractions that make it very hard to focus. It seems like we get pulled in a million and one directions. Things fall apart at the same time. Kids start acting up. Money gets funny. Life happens. Truthfully, most of us focus on the problem. It’s easier to see than the solution. We focus on our fear. We focus on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right. We have to condition ourselves to point out the positive. We have to teach ourselves to focus on God in the midst of chaos.
I’ve always loved words, which is one of the reasons I named my company Wordplay. I knew that depending on how you said certain things or the punctuation you used, could change the meaning of the exact same words. Just cause for instance could mean, just because. It could also mean a righteous pursuit or justified reason. We all seem right in our own eyes. We can always justify our actions.
After watching, “When They See Us,” I can see how everyone felt justified, yet it wasn’t true justice. Everyone had their reasons. Everyone had their excuses. Everyone had their perspectives and their biases. Personal motivation is a dangerous thing, and so is self preservation. We never really know what we will and won’t do until we find our backs against the wall. This is why it is so important not to judge, because everyone has just cause in our own minds.
James 1:2-4 Consider it nothing but joy, my [a]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.
Sometimes, its hard to see the good in everything. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Our challenges overshadow our faith. We have more frustrations than joy. I’ve learned that joy is a choice. Peace is a choice. We have to choose joy. We have to actively seek environments that feed our faith. We have to be mindful of who we are around. We have to guard our hearts and spirits. Today, my prayer is that you choose joy above all else.
I don’t know how many of you pay attention to the news, but billionaire, Robert Smith paid off the student loans of the entire graduating class of 2019 at Morehouse college. Student loan debts are now the largest form of consumer debt other than mortgages. It is the only consumer debt that has grown since the financial crisis of 2008. His gift to this graduating class is monumental. However, debt cancellation is nothing new.
In the bible, there was a year of “jubilee” that occurred every seven years. Debt- slaves would be emancipated. Debts would be cancelled. In Babylon, when new rulers took the throne, they would begin their reign with debt amnesty. The logic to the debt cancellation was simple. It was good for the country, and more importantly, it was good for the economy.
Jesus came over 2000 years ago to pay a debt as well. He came to pay a spiritual debt. One that required life for a life. He gave his life for the redemption of sin. Robert Smith’s gift reminds me that God is still a debt- cancelling God. He can pay off mortgages, credit cards, and student loans. He can save us from our sins, and give us amnesty.