Daily Devotional: Monday, January 17 - Active Faith

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” — Romans 12:11

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Fish flap their fins for many hours each day. These swimming creatures stay in motion for most of their lives to find food, to stay alert, to balance when the water moves around them, and to avoid bumping into rocks and stumps. When fish sleep, their eyes are open because they don’t have eyelids. It’s rare to see a fish completely still.

As God designed fish to move about in the water, the Lord expects us to put our faith into action. When Jesus called the 12 disciples, He chose men who were already busy and challenged them to use their energy and abilities for God in service to others. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20).

If we accomplish anything in life, it takes time and a willingness to go and to do. In the Book of Genesis, when Jacob and his sons were hungry and out of food, Jacob was too feeble to go to Egypt and buy food. Though his sons were able to go, they hesitated, but Jacob reminded them they would starve if they sat still and did nothing. “When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, ‘Why do you just keep looking at each other?’ He continued, ‘I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die'” (Genesis 42:1-2). In reply, the brothers immediately started traveling to buy the grain. Then they brought it home and the family survived.

People everywhere need the nourishment of God’s Word. And some won’t receive knowledge about God until somebody moves out of their comfortable chair to bring encouraging words and helpful actions to people where they are. In the Bible, Paul challenged believers to action. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:10-12).

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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