I Am Not Speaking To You
I am not speaking to you if you set aside an hour of your day each week to share a Bible story with children or serve the only meal some individuals will receive that day, or take time to call that friend who needs a touch of encouragement and prayer. I am not speaking to you if you sit with an elderly friend just to listen, or help them accomplish that menial task, or send them a note that says they matter. I am not speaking to you if you take note of those who are ill and call upon your Heavenly Father for healing and restoration, or spend time on the athletic field coaching young players in the art of teaming, or tutor a struggling student in your area of knowledge. I am not speaking to you if you spend time developing your area of giftedness in preparation for sharing it with others, or prepare a care package for a soldier you’ll never meet, or sit down with a young person who values your wisdom and insight. I am not speaking to you if you recognize the needs of the widow, the single mom, the injured, the helpless, the lonely, the needy—and take the time to help.
I am not speaking to you if you bake a dozen cookies for the monthly birthday party in the children’s ward, or bring a talk to a group of tomorrow’s leaders at the high school, or play your instrument in the church orchestra. I am not speaking to you if you volunteer at a community clinic treating people who otherwise would not receive medical care, or fix that electrical problem at the halfway house on your way home from work, or design the room addition at the mission’s house. I am not speaking to you if teach a class in the art of cooking, or take on a case pro bono, or provide free eye examinations to a family without insurance. I am not speaking to you if you lead a team of skilled craftsmen for the purpose of building homes for needy families in Third World countries, or service the church bus, or replace a broken window for a single mom. I am not speaking to you if you accept your own knowledge and ability as talent to be shared for the benefit of others.
I am not speaking to you if sponsor a youngster (not your own) so he can attend church camp this summer. I am not speaking to you if you recognize the unexpected income you received this week is purposed for giving to the worried dad who was recently laid off from his job. I am not speaking to you if you make a decision to restrain yourself from the sugary morning drink everyday so you can sponsor a child in a developing country. I am not speaking to you if you have adjusted your lifestyle to live on much less than you earn so you will be able to support your local church and the missions’ effort for the unreached across the world. I am not speaking to you if you recognize that you have been blessed with financial resources so you can be a blessing to others.
If you are not found in the paragraphs above, then I am speaking to YOU! Please begin!
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder (James 2:14-19).