Faith without works is dead.
But be wary the difference between works gathered, crafted, sought out and those works which bud as a result of our abiding in him.
The latter works result from faith. The former are a distraction.
When we are consumed by works of our own initiative we impede the Holy Spirit from his work in us, and the good works we might have produced are never afforded the opportunity to flower.
We call our works "fruit" but the fruit is only good and an indication of our spiritual life when it is hanging off of a branch grafted into and abiding in our savior. Otherwise, you have gathered - you have not produced.
Those ugly wretches we talked about in the "Be You" series - Comparison, Competition, Cowering - they will get us here. They will snag us, snare us, draw us in and away from our place of abiding.
(COMPARE) That branch is producing "x" and I'm producing "y." I better go gather some "x."
(COMPETE) That branch is producing more "x" than I am. I better go gather some more "x."
(COWER) I should be producing "z," but no one else is - I'll go gather some "x" instead.
You have your own works, your own fruit, your own path and purpose to which you were called. Zoom out and and out and out until you can see your works set against eternity - until it becomes clear how small and insignificant they are without the context of God's story, God's plan, God's purposes.
Zoom out and then lean in - because you do have work to do. Work with meaning, work which fits into a bigger picture, a bigger story, and you can't hope to know what it is or do it His way if you are not leaning in.
Zoom out. Lean in. Abide.