14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.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?17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17
This passage of scripture here has had great controversy over the years. One extreme that is taken is we have to do good deeds in order to find a place in heaven. The other extreme says grace saves period and all we have to do is pray a prayer and we are saved. We don’t have to do any works at all. In my opinion both are shallow views that are really rooted in selfishness. What can I do to save myself? I’m not saying that not wanting to go to the fiery pit is not a motivator, but how is our character developed if we live a life that is not Christ-like? Or why do we live in constant fear in the idea that we may not do enough to get to heaven? Yes thank God for His grace, but also we can’t sit on the sidelines in this grim world and allow others to suffer when we can be their comfort. James is talking about this in these to chapters. At the end of chapter 1 he says we need to be thinking about helping the orphans and the widows and keep ourselves from being defiled by the world.
Who are the widows and orphans? They are people around you that are hurting. How to keep from being defiled from the world? Help those who are needing help, the widows and orphans. As I have said in prior blogs, there is nothing more rewarding than to help someone in need. James talks about trials in the start of chapter 1 where he says the unthinkable, count it all joy when you go through a trial. What?? When you are others focused and not focused on yourself that is exactly what you can have; joy through a trial. Even though I may be going through hell, knowing I am making a difference in someones life makes my burden seem lighter. I write this blog for three reasons, first to glorify God in my life. Second to continue to improve my writing skills. Thirdly to hopefully help someone who is hurting and give them encouragement to stand straight in the face of opposition. So, in my 100th blog, which I can’t believe I have written that much, be others focused. It’s not just to help them, but to help yourself to joy.