Skip to main content

James 2:15-16: If A Brother Or Sister Is Poorly Clothed And Lacking In Daily Food

James 2:15–16
[15] If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, [16] 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? (ESV)

For many years I have been a preacher of the Gospel. There is an inherent danger in the job of preaching. It is easy to get so caught up in speaking the truth that one can forget to also back up the words with actions. It is one thing to tell people that God will provide for their lives, but it is another thing to ask God how he wants to use us to accomplish that divine purpose of provision.

James gives us a very graphic picture in these two verses. Imagine a poor, starving child that we essentially ignore while saying some nice words to them. That's not enough. If the child needs food and we say that God will fill them with good food, but do not provide it, we are being hypocrites. True faith is evidenced by action.

I believe that there are many people in our world who have rejected Christianity not because of our beliefs, but because of our actions, or lack of actions. We must believe the truth. I am a strong defender of the importance of knowing sound doctrine. But the evidence that we have believed properly is behaving properly.

Too often the church is a place that is known in the community as a place of in-fighting, gossip, and self-righteous condemnation of everyone who is not part of their "family." Imagine what it would be like if the church in your community was known as a place where the poor and needy are helped, where the teenagers are shown what it means to grow up with purpose, and there is less crime in the streets because of the positive influence of the church. The Gospel, believed and lived can do this.

In what ways have you ignored the need of those around you? In what ways can you put more action in your faith? Do something today that matches your belief with your behavior.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14 [14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV) The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers. Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church. This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to t

Romans 15:22: This Is The Reason Why I Have So Often Been Hindered From Coming To You.

Romans 15:22 [22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. (ESV) Paul was quite the traveler. As an Apostle to the Gentiles his task was literally to take the Gospel to the entire known world at the time. Many of the Epistles that Paul writes are letters written to places where he has already been. He preached the Gospel, many were saved, churches were planted, and Paul moved on to a new area. Rome was a place that Paul had never been to. He writes this entire letter to people whom he had never met. As an Apostle to the Gentiles he wanted to give them the good solid teaching they needed to grow in their faith. Likely, someone who was converted on the Day of Pentecost went back to Rome and first shared the Gospel there. Paul says that he has been often hindered from coming to Rome. He could have argued that all kinds of circumstances would not permit him to get to Rome. Paul would not have blamed circumstances. He would have understood that it w