Faith Without Works is Dead!
James 2: 14-17 " What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 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? So faith by itself, it it has no works, is dead." (NRSV)
Carolyn Lee Purdy, from Virginia, goes to California every year for their annual winter visit. This year the weather was unseasonably cold and rainy. There were many storms resulting in flooding and mudslides in several areas. At the church they attended, they learned about The Warming Center, which is open from January 1 until March 31 on nights when the temperature drops below 35 degrees or there is heavy rain. Here, at the Center, people who are homeless can receive a hot meal, sleep indoors, and receive a bag lunch when they leave the next morning.
Carolyn and her husband, like many others, donate food and money to their local food banks and shelters, but this was an opportunity to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus. Setting up the fellowship hall, serving meals, getting to know the guests, and helping with kitchen cleanup helped them form relationships with people they might not have met otherwise. They could now greet them on the street by name and pray for them. Jesus charged us to clothe, feed, visit, and care for our brothers and sister. As Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me.'" (Matt.25:40)"
Here in Florida, there are also many opportunities to help those in need. We also have shelters that open when it is cold, food banks, and free clothing. Haven's Rest is only one place that provides shelter, food and free clothing. So look for opportunities today to help someone in need; either by donations, prayers, or hands on.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to meet the needs of those around us today. Remind us that everything we do for others we do for you, in Jesus' name, amen.