Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:14-17 MSG
James doesn’t mess around.
He says what a lot of people are thinking but are too timid to speak aloud.
I like that.
We could use a good dose of his brand of preaching in the church today. Let’s stop pretending that following Jesus is just about getting our theology right. Let’s stop acting like going to church, serving on committees or teaching Sunday School is the best indicator of where my heart is relative to my Savior.
Let’s face facts: if my life does not look different than the lives of those who do not know Jesus, then either I don’t know Him or I’m not paying attention to what He’s telling me to do.
I have been blessed on this grief journey by a few dedicated friends who go out of their way to do good, be light and extend hope to my heart when I’m barely holding on. They have chosen, often sacrificially, to be the hands and feet of Jesus in my life.
And they make a difference!
Sometimes it’s a card in the mail, sometimes a text or message and sometimes a visit-but they DO something. They might not understand why God is putting me on their heart, but they obey the prompting.
So if the Spirit is nudging you to reach out to someone, don’t ignore Him or put it off. Sure, praying is important. We are commanded to do that.
But we are also commanded to be physically present and to extend practical help to hurting hearts. We are supposed to BE the hands and feet of Jesus.
Who knows, I might be the answer to my own prayer that God send encouragement to someone else.
I can choose to do good.
I can choose to shine light.
I can choose to share hope.
And my small gesture be the very thread that holds a broken heart together.
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
James 4:17 NIV