1 Peter 4:9-11: I have been hearing the term ACTIVE faith a lot in the past few weeks. What is active faith? I know that Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed, Luke 17:6: He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Let me tell you a mulberry tree uprooting itself would be a big thing. Can you imagine having that much faith and telling a mulberry tree to be planted in the sea; watching the mulberry tree uproot itself and fly off into the sea? All it takes is the faith the size of a mustard seed. I don’t think the scripture is always literal. I think the mulberry tree is symbolic for the things that are causing us difficulties. But here in first Peter, we receive a glimpse of Active faith. It says we are to serve one another. We should use our talents to help other people. It actually means that we should do it without the expectation of compensation. It says serve others faithful stewards of God’s grace. Now unfortunately we cannot always work for free. The world is set up in a manner that we must earn a living. This is Biblical. Proverbs mentions working frequently. Salomon says the person that does not work is foolish. It is Biblical to work for a living. But this is off topic. We are still pursuing active faith and serving others as our sign of active faith. In my past I have a good example. My husband dislocated his shoulder at work. The employer was grumbling about paying for the surgery as was disability. It was dislocated and the only way to get it back in to stay was surgery. The surgeon did the surgery for free. If he ever received compensation it did not come from us. Good thing because back then it was an expensive surgery. It might be cheaper today, ACL repairs are commonplace. My husband had started to fall off a ladder while trying to dislodge a stuck box. He caught himself at the expense of his shoulder. But since it was a 30 foot drop onto a cement floor, I say this was divine intervention and the stupid employer should have been glad he saved them millions in a wrongful death suit. The employer is guilty of living with a greedy heart. The Surgeon on the other hand was displaying active faith. He knew that if he did this surgery for free, it would come back to him. God would bless him. He knew we were unable to pay the fee for the surgery. It was in the ball park of 10-20 thousand dollars. Of course this is not just the doctor’s fee. There were a few sacrifices; He did it on his own time, a weekend. The nurses that assisted were either paid for out of his pocket, or did it for free as well. There were about 10 people involved which either did the work for free or the doctor paid them from his own pocket. We had to sacrifice and drive 60 miles on a Saturday for the surgery and recovery was done at home. At the time, if someone had this surgery they spent about three days at the hospital. This took a lot of active faith on the doctor’s part. It took some active faith on our part. The surgery was needed, no one was going to pay for it, at least not that we knew yet. (Maybe the doctor collected from someone eventually) We had to trust that we could pay for it. See the doctor did not tell us that he would do it for free. We had denial letters –the insurance, disability, the union, and the company. We assumed that we would be paying for this surgery for a very long time. But the trust that it would be okay, it would work out some how; was our part of active faith. How were we to know the surgeon would fix it so that the surgery was free for us?
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.