20 May, 2009

Ya Got to Have Some Action

Some years back I heard a preacher on television tell a story that went something like this. Sorry, I just can't recall who it was... been like 25 years ago, but I'll tell it best I can from memory.

One afternoon a group of people were sitting in a nice restaurant that was filled with others enjoying lunch. The door opened and a man staggered in and over to a table, prepared to sit down but then collapsed into the floor. Several people rushed over to assist him, picking him up and setting him into a chair but he really seemed to be quite confused and disoriented. Someone splashed water onto his face while another spoke to him asking him over and over if he was ok and what was the matter with him. Finally with a very weak voice he responded that he just did not know. A doctor happened into the restaurant about that time and the owner asked him to check the man out. In very short order the doctor assessed that the man was in the final stages of starvation and malnutrition. He told the owner that this man was literally within 30 minutes of starving to death.
The owner rushed into the kitchen and told the chef to prepare some food for this man, exclaiming, "We certainly don't want this man starving to death in my restaurant!" 20 minutes later the chef and the owner came of the kitchen with a plate filled with delectable looking food. They sat it before the man and said, "Sir, do you see this plate of food?" He responded that he did. The owner asked him if he believed that he ate this food that it would prevent him from starving to death. Again the man responded that he did. The chef asked him again if he thought that if he ate the food, it would save his life, and again that man responded that he believed it would in fact save him. Others that had gathered around now asked him, "Do you believe that if you eat this food, you will regain your strength and live?" He responded, "Yes, I believe it will keep me from starving and that I will regain my strength and I will live." He began to say it over an over, "
I believe it will keep me from starving and that I will regain my strength and I will live."
Now rememer, the doctor had said that within 30 minutes this man would die of starvation. So, 29 minutes later, while the man was repeating, "
I believe it will keep me from starving and that I will regain my strength and I will live" he fell into the floor again, the doctor examined him and pronounced him dead.

Hang with me... I'm going somewhere with this.

Here is the question I have to ask. The man said with his own mouth that he believed that if he ate the food it would keep him, that he would regain his strength and save his life. The question is: Was that true?
The man died sitting right in front of a plate full of food, and said with his own mouth that he believed that if he at the food it would save his life. But he died.

Why did he die?
Because he did not eat it! (Duh?)

My point is that what he believed was true. It is a proven fact that if we eat food, we will not die of starvation. You might die from a heart attack. You might get hit by a car and die. You might even get struck by lightening, but you will not die of starvation if you eat the food. Right?
This man believed that. What he believed was absolutely, 100% truth, yet he died... because he did not eat! Believing is not enough... you have to eat! You have to act on what you believe.

It does not matter if you sit in church every time the doors are open. It does not matter if you read your Bible 2 hours a day. You have to put into action or act on what you believe. This is faith! Faith without works is DEAD! There is a difference between believing and faith. You can believe all day long with all your heart and still die. Most people believe. Few have faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God. Don't misunderstand, the two work together. Your actions, the things you do, are based on what you believe. You must have some knowledge (which brings belief) in order to act.. put faith into action. But again, it is not enough to believe something, you have to act on it in order to reap a personal benefit. What you believe can be absolutely true (just as the man in my story) but the benefit comes in the action. We cannot fault the man one iota for his belief, but he failed in his lack of action.

So, today, I want to tell you that while what you believe is vitally important, if you are not putting action to that belief, then your faith is dead.

Just something for you to think about today.

1 comment:

Darrell said...

Since posting this a friend contacted me and told me that the preacher who related the story was Fredrick K. Price.