Elizabeth George does a wonderful job, I think, of really breaking down each section of the book of James, and helping us, as women, to apply it practically to our every day lives.
I’m grateful for how the Lord has used her wisdom and insight to convict me and cause me to consider my ways more deeply.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. ~James 2:14-17
The scripture is poignant, but it is the quote from DeHaan and Bosch that Elizabeth George used at the end of her devotional chapter to exhort us that really struck a chord with me. I wanted to share it with you all (emphasis mine).
What an illustration [verses 15-16] and how practical. What this poor, naked, hungry brother or sister needs is clothing and food. Pious prayers will not help him. Reading Scripture to him will not clothe him. Speaking kind words will not free him and make him warm. He needs clothes and food and if you are in a position to furnish them, then don’t shirk your duty by saying to the poor brother, “We’ll pray for you and God will supply your need.” You hypocrite, you cover up your penurious, stingy heart and clamp down your fist upon your purse by offering prayers instead of clothing, and pious talk instead of food. Listen! That is what is wrong today….The world wants action, not words, and many a cheap, stingy heart is camouflaged under pious cant and hollow prayer. The world is not interested in our prayers. It wants evidence.
God help us…[to] strive until our faith has been demonstrated before men and we are justified before the world by the life we live and works we do.
“Giving is living,” the angel said,
“God fed the hungry sweet charity’s bread!”
“And must I keep giving and giving again?”
My selfish and querulous answer ran…
“Oh, no,” said the angel, his eyes pierced me through,
“Just give till the Saviour stops giving to you!” ~Anonymous
Wow, “just give till the Saviour stops giving to you!” What an exhortation that is! It is not enough to say I will pray for you. What a wonderful reminder that there are many around us who need help, as well as those who need practical needs met.
Who do you know around you that has a need that you can meet?
I don’t believe it has to be financial.
- It’s being compassionate towards my husband when he’s struggling with condemnation.
- It’s being patient as I wait upon the Lord to provide for our needs.
- It’s providing love and care to my sister as she wades the waters of her new life in Christ.
- It’s sending an email to say congrats on your new job!
- It’s babysitting for a friend so she can have coffee by herself.
- It’s delivering a favorite drink to a tired woman who’s run ragged at her job.
It’s asking those around me:
“How can I serve you?”
“What can I do for you today that would take the biggest burden from you?”
If you are a Christian, you are part of the large body of Christ. We are one church. We serve one God. We have one Savior. We have been saved by the very same grace, based on the very same love, and mercy that God chose to extend to us through the sacrificing of His Son. We have nothing that we did not receive.
Why not extend your hand to meet a practical need of someone around you today?
Reminds me of a Casting Crowns song. I’ll leave you with this…
But if we are the Body
Why aren’t His arms reaching
Why aren’t His hands healing
Why aren’t His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren’t His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way
Let’s show them that there is a way through Christ.
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