Serving in God's Name
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like... Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:22-24, 27
From the text, James tells those who claim they are followers of God and obedient to His word to manifest through their action true spirituality when they serve others. Christians should be known as God’s people helping those who are not able to take care of themselves. Time and again the Bible teaches that those who trust God should care for the perceptible needs of people around them. This is what manifests genuine Christianity. In Deuteronomy 15:11 God says, “I command you to be open-handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in you land.” Proverbs 14:31 says, “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” In Matthew 25:40 Jesus brought it even closer to home by saying, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it for Me.” God is not telling His followers that they all build shelters for orphans and widows. During the time of James, orphans and widows constitute the good number of people who needed the most help. Since they do not have family members and there were no government programs to support them during that time, it was imperative for Christians to take action in helping them. It is God’s desire that His children regardless of the spiritual gifts, will do whatever they can whenever God presents to them opportunities to minister to others specially those who are not able to help themselves. God is concerned that you claim that you have trusted God as your Lord and Savior and will not be motivated to serve others. Once you surrender your life to Christ, your life changes and the actions you take provide a reflection of your faith in God. Faith in God is not passive but active. So many times from the Bible that the Lord Jesus Christ was described as “filled or moved with compassion” when a need is presented before Him (i.e. Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Mark 1:41; 6:34). This is also the example that Christ’s followers should follow. “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36). Ask God to help you see your part in caring for those who cannot care for themselves.