Not Without Works


There was a man named John who lived in a small town in the lower plains of Texas. He was an extremely devoted Christian man and loved by many. He went to church every Sunday, read his Bible daily, and never denied giving help to all those within his reach. The faith he demonstrated in God was unsurpassed anywhere in Texas and should make us all positively envious!

One year, the rainy season came with much more rain than anyone could remember. The dams, dikes, and flood control channels were filled to capacity. The weather people predicted the worst storm of the season was on its way. The authorities called for the voluntary evacuation of John’s town. Immediately the panic went out!

People started cleaning the stores out of food and water and heading for higher ground. John’s heart went out to his neighbors and their current plight. He assured them all that God would protect them all if they trusted in Him. John stood outside his house as his neighbors were packing their cars, trucks, and RVs. His next door neighbor and best friend asked him why he was not packing up. John said, “Because God will take care of me!”

The heavy rain of the newest storm came as predicted. Quickly the streets began to flood as the water had nowhere else to go. John decided to walk across the street to get a better view of what was happening. All the previous rains had already compromised the asphalt John was walking on. John quickly sunk into a sink hole that formed under his feet. He tried without success to get himself out, but, he was stuck.

John said to himself, “This is not good. Not good at all!” He had sunk down to his knees and the water was rising. He decided not to panic. He lifted his hands towards heaven and began to pray. “Dear Lord”, John said, “I am in a serious predicament here. I trust in you more than anything in this world and know you will get me out. All things in life happen for your glory.”

His best friend saw him in the sink hole as he was preparing his exit out of town. The waters were rising fast! “John”, his friend said, “Give me your hand and I will pull you out of there!” John said, “NO! All things happen for the glory of God. He will get me out. I believe His word.”

His friend, fearful of the fast rising water, decided not to argue with him and made it towards higher ground. He did not have time to convince John otherwise since his family was in danger. John prayed a second time as the cold waters rose to his waist. “Dear Lord”, John said, “I trust in you and know you will get me out of here. All things in life happen for your glory and I ask you to use me as your instrument and example for others.”

A stranger in a boat then came rowing on by. “Give me your hand, buddy, and I will pull you into my boat.” John said, “NO! God will work his glory here today.” The stranger shook his head in disbelief and rowed away. John prayed a third time as the waters rose to his neck. “Dear Lord”, John said, “I continue to trust in you and know you will get me out of this mess. All things in life happen for your glory and I call on my faith in you to get me out, in Jesus’ name I ask this.”

A rescue team in a helicopter then flew over head. A member of the County Search and Rescue Team hung down from a rope ladder. The man said, “Give me your hand, Sir, and I will pull you up out of there.” John said, “NO! God will work his glory here today.” The rescue crew chief yelled down and asked what was the hold up. “If he does not want to come up, we do not have time to waste. I can see a lady on a roof with three kids who need our help.” So, off they flew.

The water soon went over John’s head and he drowned. John’s soul was quickly taken up by the angels and taken before the throne of Almighty God. God questioned John, “Are you not happy to be here, my child?” John replied that he was extremely happy to be in the full presence of God, but, he was troubled.

John said, “I do not understand, Lord. I prayed for help three times, I believed, did not doubt in you one little bit, yet, you let me drown and die. Was it weakness in my faith that led me to this, Lord?”

God shook His mighty head and said to John, “My child, when you turned to my Son and became a Christian, I put my eternal mark on you. I love you dearly and would never leave you no matter what trials or hardships you encountered. BUT YOU FOOL! Three times you prayed for my help and three times I sent someone to help you. Each time you foolishly refused the help I sent!”

The moral of this story

Being that we can always trust in God when we commit our lives to Him. However, we must always be open minded to the ways He chooses to help us. Most of the time the way He helps us may require some work on our part.

James 2:17 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”


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