“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?” (James 2:15-16)
I was visiting with a group who had come to Houston from out of state following Hurricane Harvey. We were in a trailer park, and they were mucking, gutting, cleaning, and fixing.
While standing next to a member of that team, I asked, “Where are you from?”
He said, “Oklahoma.”
I asked, “What brought you here?”
He said, “There was no way I could sit in my nice, safe, dry home and see that so many here had lost so much.”
I said, “I’m guessing you’re a man of faith.”
He said, “I try to be. Doing work like this, rehabbing this trailer, helping this family makes my faith real.”
What that man said is exactly the message in today’s scripture. For our faith to be real, says James, it needs to be translated into helping others.
Maybe your way of making your faith real isn’t mucking or gutting or serving in a soup kitchen or visiting those in the hospital or the jail; but there must be a way for you, for all of us, to give some real and practical and concrete help and support to someone. Otherwise, as James asks, what good is it?
I’m sure that many who are reading these meditations are already making their faith real in heroic and tender ways. I’m also guessing that some may need to consider if Jesus has a serving opportunity for them to do.
If we’re pondering or praying about how Jesus may be calling us to make our faith more real through how we live and serve, let’s never forget that we can’t do anything to earn the love and grace of Jesus—those are gifts that can only be received in faith. Our doing, acting, and serving are our grateful responses for the doing, acting, and serving that Jesus has already done for us.
- How do you make your faith real? How does your faith make a difference in this world?
- Could Jesus be asking you to make your faith more real than it already is? If so, how do you plan to proceed?
- One way to jump-start making our faith more real is to begin by counting our blessings. Just how grateful are you to Jesus for all He has done and given to you? What are you going to do to express your gratitude?