Faith, love in action

My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it? Imagine a brother or sister who is naked and never has enough food to eat. What if one of you said, “Go in peace! Stay warm! Have a nice meal!”? What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their body needs? In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity. Someone might claim, “You have faith and I have action.” But how can I see your faith apart from your actions? Instead, I’ll show you my faith by putting it into practice in faithful. ~James2 14-18(CEB)

Claiming that I believe in God doesn’t bring anyone out of the darkness. Feeling bad that there are hungry people in the world does nothing to put food in their bellies. It is easy to read the Bible, but what is difficult is putting what I have read into practice. In Matt 25:42-42 it says “I was hungry and you didn’t give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked and you didn’t give me clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” These are not words I want to hear directed to me by Christ. I might be tempted to say but Lord, when did I see you hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or in prison? Then He will answer, “I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.”(Matt 25:45)  He doesn’t say, anything about my “seeing” these needs. He just commands that I meet the needs.

Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians “If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever” (1Cor 13:1-3).

How can I claim faith if I lack action? Love is that action. Love is the response to the faith I claim in Christ. The question of love to Peter was not just for Peter, it is for me too. “Do you love Me?”, Christ asks. It is not just a simple answer of “Yes, Lord, I love You.” He asks me to put my love in action. He says to me, “Take care of my sheep” (John 21:16).

Again I find myself Lord, convicted of Your words. Help me this day to show my love for You to those I meet, even if it means that I have to go out of my comfort zones to find those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or in prison. May I be Your hands and feet. May I be love in action. Amen.

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