“Helping Others in Their Time of Need” 4/24/2016 Written by Steve for “The True Light”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Steve for “The True Light” @  https://thetruelight2014.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://thetruelight2014.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/james-122-25/

James 1:22-25…

 

need 2

 

“22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

~James 1:22-25

Today, we read a story from Lin in Massachusetts:

“When I was in the eighth grade, I witnessed an act of compassion I will never forget. A boy using crutches fell in the entrance to our school. I watched with dismay and did not know what to do. Meanwhile, Diana, another student asked him if he needed help. When he responded yes, she came to his aid. She allowed her feelings of compassion to become an act of compassion…”

This seems to be an area of some misunderstanding among Christians at times…

We see things like this quite often, especially on the TV news. Some person encounters another person on the road with a flat. They pull their car over, get out and help with putting the spare tire on.

need 1In this world, so many of us talk about all the bad things we see. But there are always acts of compassion and kindness which we are witness to as well, just as the account from Lin we read above.

From a purely human kindness standpoint, the act itself stands on its own merit. If someone does good for another, it is usually met with appreciation, and that’s the end of it.

However, from a Christian point of view, the motivation which moves us to action is very important to our Lord. It also has salvation implications attached to our faith and deeds.

Let’s look further into how motives translate into good works as people of faith. In the same book of James, chapter two goes into an explanation of how faith and deeds work together.

As we read along in (James 2:14-18), we see how both faith in the Lord and our actions need to work together as believers. In this text we read:

“14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

A person can believe in God and His Son Christ Jesus, and that is good. But as James asks in (V.14), can such faith alone save that person? As it turns out, the simple answer is no. As the passage goes on in (VV.15-16), we see that if we find a person in need and do nothing more than wish them well, we have done nothing at all for that person. In addition, we do nothing for ourselves, nor for the Lord, no matter how sincere we may have meant what we said.

There are always those willing to say “good luck to you” and leave things at that. But a faith centered on just that much alone, when it is not accompanied by action, is dead as we see in (V.17).

It doesn’t matter how we look at things, we are not showing the love of the Lord nor our faith if we simply say “go, I wish you well.”It is an incomplete action. It is only when we look for a way to perhaps be of some help to that person that we complete the “circle of love” and faith by honoring our Lord with some positive action.

This is what the writer means in (V.18) when he writes “show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” It is true, actions do speak louder than words, especially in instances like helping others in need!

What’s more, this does not apply to strangers alone. We may know of a friend, or someone in the church, who has a need with which we could. The want doesn’t always have to do with money either.

need 3A friend or member in the body of Christ may seek prayers, or a visit as they are sick or lonely. I once knew of a sister in the church who needed a ride to the airport but didn’t want to bother anyone with it. A disabled brother who learned of the need quietly helped arrange a ride for her.

Of course this is a simple and common lesson in basic kindness and Christianity. But as was said earlier, some believers have a problem with hearing of a need AND then taking action on it.

My friends this is just not the way things should be!  

Our faith and love for the Lord drives us to take action in compassion for another, and this for the praise and glory of the Almighty…it’s as simple as that. This is what is pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God.

Our storyteller Lin ends her tale with this prayer, and it is a good way to end our thoughts here as well:

“Dear God of compassion, help us to go beyond just feeling and become doers of your word and work. [In Jesus name], Amen…”

ref

“devotional.theupperroom.org”

“biblegateway.com”

~Steve

About Godsmanforever

I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more... http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/
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