Shalom again, my sisters!
In part 1 of this series, I wrote about how we are not supposed to have respect of persons. This part of the series I would like to dwell on the last half of James chapter 2.
Before I say more, let’s read what it says, shall we? 🙂
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:14-26
As I read this passage, I had to smile as I thought about my precious friends in Israel. Israeli’s could really care less if you tell them that you love them. They want you to show them that you love them. Empty words are just that, empty words…and lets face it, sadly, they’ve had their share of them!
This part of the chapter has always been dear to me and as I thought about it this morning, it became even dearer to my heart. Maybe it’s because I’m a people’s person (as in I like people), maybe it’s because one of my life’s purposes is helping people…I don’t know. But it has always been hard for me to do nothing. Yet, as I read this passage, I realize all the more how we are commanded to do something! Life is not about being comfortable. It’s not about serving ourselves. It’s about serving our King and furthering His kingdom. We are here, to serve and obey Him…and we are supposed to be showing others His love, by being the extention of His arm…to shine forth His love to this dying world. Yet, what do we do? Do we sit still and do nothing? Do we just twiddle our hands and wait for “the perfect need to come up”? Or do we act upon our faith?
It breaks my heart when I look at the “Christians” of today. Have we truly become a lazy people? We see a true need (and yes, I believe there are needs and there are “proclaimed needs” which are not), and as much as we could do something about it, we don’t…but we do say “we’ll pray for you” or “we’ll pray Yahweh fulfills that need”.
Are we any less a people that this passage is talking about? We see a need, which Yahweh has provided enough for us to be able to meet that need, yet we send them off saying an equallent of “be ye warmed and fed”…yet even though it is in our power to feed, nourish and clothe them, we don’t! Where is the works behind our faith? Where is the action? Has our faith become dead, precious sisters?
My sisters, I realize Yahweh has given us each different gifts and talents. I’m not here to condemn you, but I do want to challenge you to become all that Yahweh desires for you to become. Let me ask you something; Are you using those gifts and talents He’s given you? Are you acting on what you believe?
It reminds me of the quote above. “I am only one. But still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” ~Adapted from Helen Keller
Do you honestly do what you can do? Or do you wait, thinking or saying that “another can do it”, so why bother? Yahweh created you for a special purpure. He gave you means so that you can fulfill that purpose. Are you? Or is there a gap where you should be fulfilling, but aren’t?
I am known as our family’s traveler, and I guess I am the one who travels the most…but I don’t travel a whole lot for pleasure, although that’s not to say I do not enjoy what I do! Just the opposite. I love what I do! 🙂 But usually, if I am traveling, it is because I have a purpose for doing it. Someone needs help and since I can, I am going to meet that need. This is something Yahweh has blessed me with the ability to do…as it is part of how I can fulfill that purpose and use that gift He’s given me.
Yet, I’m going to be totally honest and say that I fully realize that he hasn’t given this gift to everyone, and doesn’t even want everyone traveling like I do. But I share this with you, to hopefully help you think about what your purpose is, and where you can begin meeting the needs of those around you. Are you filling the gap that was there for you to fill?
I’m going to share with you some different things that I have heard from precious mothers that I have helped…and even some that I wasn’t able to, as I was already called to help another. But listen to their pleas.
One night, I will never forget, we got a phone call from a precious friend that I had helped off and on for years, as a mother’s helper. We now lived about 5 hours away from each other. They had just found out that their three year old precious daughter, had cancer. Their large family needed help right away. I was free, and so I was on the road within a few minutes. Other times it’s been a family that needed someone to care for their children, while they were out of the country, adopting their other children. I have helped different ones, each with different needs, at different times. But there has been times when these moms have been beside themselves. They’d call begging for help. Oftentimes I lived quite a bit from those I was often asked to help. I can not tell you how many times I have heard from these moms how every single older, stay at home daughter, they asked to help them, said they were too busy to…”but they’d be praying”! This has happened time and time and time again. What these families needed, wasn’t prayer (although they needed that, too!). But they needed someone to stand in the gap, but there was no one willing to. They were like the family in the verse above, who needed someone to clothe them. Yet, even though others were capable of helping, they were turned down. And although I was thrilled to go when I could, I can’t be everywhere, and sadly, there were times when the needs were just unmet, as there was no one willing to step up and meet them and I couldn’t.
This is why I share this today and challenge and ask you, Are you doing what you can? Are you using the gifts and abilities Yahweh has blessed you with, to help and bless those around you?
For an example, has Yahweh gifted you financially? If He has, is it because He wants you to spend it upon pleasure, or has He blessed you, so that you could meet another’s need?
What about being a good cook? Is that a gift that should go wasted…or has He blessed you with that, so that you could bless your family and those around you with a delicious meal?
What about sewing? Was that gift only intended to be used for your own profit? Or was that a gift He wanted you to have, to further His kingdom? I can hear you now saying “how on earth is sewing suppose to further His kingdom”? Well…think about it this way. I’m going to assume you are single, still living at home. What if you offered to use that gift to bless a young mother, so that her time could be spent on training and taking care of the children Yahweh’s given to her? Could you help relieve her, so she has the needed time and energy to place on other, more important areas? Or, what about the person in need of being clothed? This reminds me of Hurricaine Katrina. At the time, I had a sewing business and thus, had bolts of fabric in stock. Our family was told about a need for clothes, as some homeschool families had lost everything they owned. My sisters and I decided that that was a need that we could meet, so we set to work sewing garment after garment, in just about every size. It was a small way we could use our talents, to meet the current needs of the believers.
What about a new mom who doesn’t have family living near her, who could use a helpers hand for an afternoon? Could you clean her bathroom, wash and fold her laundry, wash her kitchen floor for her? What about offering to watch the other little ones, so she can get a much needed nap? Or offering to make her dinner?
Girls, the list is endless! Bring it closer to home. Are there needs that you can meet around your own home?
I honestly believe with all my heart, that if we all did what we could, we’d see lives totally and radically changed! This world needs to see faith in action!! They don’t need to hear words…for there are always someone willing to do that. They need to see the fruit, the faith, behind those words! Like the Israeli’s, they need to see your love, not hear about it! Yahweh says that if we have faith, but no fruits, no works, our faith is dead. It is nothing!! Again, remember what He says about the person who comes to us with a need, and even though He’s provided a way for us to meet that need, and we don’t…what does He say about such a person? It’s not good.
So I leave you with this challenge. Every single day, no matter where life finds you, look around you. Ask yourself if there is a way that you could fulfill and meet another’s need? I don’t care how small or large that need may be! It could be just sweeping the floor…and Yahweh could have blessed you with a few minutes on your hands…just enough time for you to be able to bless another by doing it. 🙂 But I beg you to sincerely pray and ask Yahweh how you can stand in the gap and fulfill what needs to be fulfilled. Be on the lookout for ways that you can bless another, with what He’s blessed you with…you will be surprised at what you see! 🙂 Be open hands and let His love flow through you, in all you do! Be trustworthy with the little He’s given you, so that He can later trust you with much!
And remember, even a smile or encouraging word to that cashier who may be having a trying day, can go a long way! Or simply hugging someone you know could use it…just to say “I care”. The gaps are gaping open. Let’s be the ones who stand and fill those gaps for our Heavenly Father!!