I by my works will show you my faith. (James 2:18 NRSV)

There is a story about one minister who preached every Sunday on baptism. His folks agreed with his doctrine, but they were tired of hearing the same subject dealt with every week.

The church leaders undertook to solve the problem through diplomatic means. They complimented him on his pulpit skills and suggested to him that he was such a natural preacher that they wanted to try an experiment. They wanted to hand him a piece of paper with a scripture lesson on it just before he stepped into the pulpit. "We believe that you're so good," they said, "that you can preach a great sermon with no preparation at all - just that slip of paper."

What preacher could resist an approach like that? So, the leaders got busy searching the Scriptures for a text which was totally unrelated to baptism. They selected the opening verse of Genesis: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." There was absolutely nothing in that text that had anything to do with baptism.

When they handed the text to him, the preacher read it aloud three times. Finally, he turned to the congregation and said, "If I remember geography right, the earth is one-fourth land and three-fourths water. Water brings me to my subject for the day: Baptism." Broad hints don't work with some people, do they?

Do we get the hint?

Our faith is of no value unless we use it!


Dear God, I don't want a dead faith. Help me to find ways to put it to use today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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