Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Faith, Love and Deeds

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes or food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead." (James 2:14-17) These are some powerful words from James but very relevant for us today. I was able to witness faith in action this week. There are some trees near our home that need to be cut down. My husband made some phone calls to various local companies to get some estimates for the tree removal. Two companies came out to give us a price. In the meantime a brother in our congregation mentioned the name of a Christian man he knew that was very good and could probably give us a cheaper estimate. My husband made several calls to this person and left messages without any response. I couldn't understand why a fellow believer would not return our calls or even leave a message to indicate his availability. I thought for sure that God wanted the Christian man to do the work. One of the other companies called to lower their estimate and was anxiously waiting for a response from us. We were ready to call the company back when a customer came to my husband's job. He was looking for a part to repair a burner for a boiler at the home of an elderly woman who had been without heat or hot water for two days. The customer stated that his wife was a home health caregiver and discovered the elderly woman's problem a few days ago. The customer who was an auto mechanic attempted to help the elderly woman but broke a hose in the process. My husband's business did not have the needed part but my husband recommended that he contact the local oil companies. Sadly, no oil company would help this man. He reported back to my husband what had happened and added that this elderly woman had no money. In response my husband offered his assistance, having been in the oil burner service business for 29 years. He happened to have a used burner in our shed at home and arranged to meet the man at the elderly woman's home after work. After ensuring the the burner was still in working order, he went to the elderly woman's home, installed it, and got the burner up and running. Before my husband parted company with this auto mechanic he mentioned about our tree situation. In response, the mechanic stated that he also had a tree removal business and was willing to come and do the job for a very reasonable price. We received this as a blessing from the Lord and it became clear to me why the delay in the tree removal process. God calls us to be witnesses and faithful in showing His love to the world. It is very easy to become too comfortable in our Christianity or to adopt an attitude of, "Well, I feel sorry for that person" or "What a shame, I hope they get some help soon. It's a good thing it's not winter yet!" James calls for faith in action but John goes even further and speaks of the very heart of God which is love in action, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:17-18) Let us remain faithful to our Savior who calls us to, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (italics mine) There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31) 
Blessings In Christ,
Pastor Sheree

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