Our pastor preached a powerful sermon on James 2:14-26 Sunday, and it hit my son like a Mack Truck. It was wonderful. You don't mind being hit when you know it is God doing the hitting. "The kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20).
In Acts 5 God had to remind the people of his power when a couple in the church started thinking it was no big deal to lie a little to the Holy Spirit-and it did the church a world of good:
"And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things" (Acts 5:11).
There were other sharp reminders later on, like when some would-be exorcists wanted to wield the gift but had no relationship with God:
"And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled" (Acts 19:16-17).
Besides healthy fear, there was a zeal to clean up their act:
"Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all . . ." (Acts 19:18-19).
On Sunday the pastor gave the straight Word of God, no blinking. He said that if your life is not marked by deeds that result from your faith, you probably don't have saving faith. Period. He encouraged us to take a leap if God is convicting us to do something.
It just so happened that the Lord had been convicting my son to take a kind of leap. And after the service he went up, slightly shaken, to speak to the pastor.