Last night, I finally had the chance to attend "Night of Freedom", which is led by Pastor Troy at Apostolic Lutheran Church in Lake Worth. Basically, it is a night of food, games and music for people who are recovering from addiction to alcohol and drugs. I had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Troy at a different Christian group called "The Stronghold" and had wanted to attend sooner. However, my schedule would not permit it. Satan has a habit of turning your life upside-down every time you try to get involved in anything for God. Thankfully, God created the opportunity for me to go regularly, so last night I went and asked for an opportunity to volunteer. As it turned out, Pastor Troy needed someone to help stay and clean up the bathrooms and I eagerly agreed. I will be doing that every time that I come.
He gave an amazing message about saving faith, using Abraham as an example and James 2: 19-22, which is quoted below:
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?"
A lot of people misinterpret that passage to mean that we have to do good things to be saved. That, quite frankly, is not true, and Pastor Troy made that clear in his sermon. What the passage is saying is that if you really have faith in God, you will do good things. Righteous deeds are merely proof of a living faith. For example, if someone claims that they love the homeless, but they never volunteer at a shelter, refuse to donate to organizations which feed them, and blow them off if they try to talk to them, do they really love them? No. However, if they do all of those things, then it is proof that they do love the homeless. The scriptures put it this way:
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:18)
That's what I love about this ministry. Pastor Troy not only gives the gospel; he lives it by trying to help these people. He and the other people who work in this ministry show their faith by their works. That's why I am glad to help in any way that I can, even if it is simply cleaning the bathrooms.