My good friend, Dr. Patrick Kennedy from Kennedy Spine & Sport, shared a story about his son and his journey to be a college swimmer at the University of Florida and I thought it was so encouraging, I asked him to film it for me so I could share it!  Pat’s son Ben wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and be a University of Florida Gator Swimmer.  Ben’s high school swim times were 4 seconds off of what it would take to get a scholarship to swim at a “Gator” level, but he kept his dream alive anyway.  Pat called the coach to check on the likelihood of Ben being part of next year’s team and the coach gave Pat the hard truth that if Ben didn’t lower his time, he wouldn’t be recruited.  Pat didn’t want to give up either and he knew his son had what it took to swim at a higher level, so he asked the coach to send Ben a letter and some swag from Florida, telling him that they were considering him for a scholarship.  The day of the last meet of Ben’s senior season, he proudly wore his University of Florida t-shirt to the starting blocks, as he truly believed he was now swimming for Florida.  That day, miraculously, Ben cut 4 seconds off his time and made the cut.  When his dad asked why, Ben stated that he finally believed he could do it and because of that total buy-in, it came to pass! 

James 2:14-26 (NLT)

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] He was even called the friend of God.[c24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[d] so also faith is dead without good works.

So, What… for This Week?

So, what do YOU believe?  Are YOU settling for less than God’s best? Spend some time this week asking God to show you what He wants you to go after!