Built for Community
Verse 16 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?
Yesterday we talked about how important it is to show our faith through loving deeds. James takes us further into that thought with a reminder of one group of people that this principle is very important for.
In our key verse today we see an example of what not to do. It is easy to fall into that mode though, isn’t it? Of course we use a more modern day version of “Christianese” by saying, “I’ll be praying for you.” Sure, we may be sincere but there are probably cases where we could do more but don’t really want to.
James is trying to help his readers understand that being a Christian is more than just loving Christ and praying for other believers. James knew that Jesus wasn’t just setting up a system of faith that kept individuals living their own life. His plan was what God’s plan had been since the beginning, that His people would be a community of believers that lived with each other’s interest at heart.
Praying isn’t a bad thing to do for each other, in fact, it is a beautiful thing to do for and with each other. But as James is trying to help his readers understand, praying isn’t enough. If there is a way that we can physically help and/or care for our brother or sister in the Church, we MUST help! There shouldn’t be a question.
Jesus prayed that His people would be one as He and the Father are one. Jesus also told His followers that they were to love one another. We are to love each other more than we love ourselves. Who of us would ignore our own physical needs? James knew the importance of the body of Christ to take care of each and every part.
We can’t stoop so low as to care for our brothers and sister in word only. If we don’t do the actual acts of love for our Church family, we are lying to ourselves about our faith. Faith without works is dead. Jesus said that the world would know us from our love for one another (John 13:35). Does our love show that our faith is alive?
Making It Personal
When has a fellow Christian helped you through a time of need? When have you helped a Christian brother or sister? Who needs your help today?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever helped someone from church that needed your help? Who is someone from church that has helped you? Who can you help today?
Father, thank You for making us to be a community. Thank You for giving us the opportunities to serve one another. Give us a heart to truly love fellow Christians. In Jesus’ name, amen.