Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Faith Without Works is Dead

Today we are privileged to have Jeremy guest-write for us once again! He is with me on an outreach to LIV village and felt compelled to share his thoughts on our time here so far!

‘What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 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? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.'  James 2:14-17 (ESV)

I believe all peoples should be hearing about the Gospel, because Jesus is that amazing. However, as Tich Smith (the founder of Lungisise Indlela Village [LIV]) says, if a child hasn't eaten in a week and we tell her about this loving Jesus, she will ask where this god of ours is.

Traditional church is crucial, we do need the community as Christians, but Jesus also said "I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. ’Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? ’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:36-39 (ESV). This is straight out of the mouth of the Christ...and it moves me deeply. 

Serving on LIVit has reminded me of just how messed up our world is, and that Jesus wants us to help Him fix it (He doesn't need it, but I'm sure He appreciates it). And so I urge you to help the church re-examine its priorities. And for an example you don't have to look to a progressive evangelical church, but rather to the Roman Catholics (who have been doing sterling work so far. They don't deserve the bad rep they have in some circles), whose new pope, his Holiness Francis I, turned that mansion into a soup kitchen...

I'm not trying to guilt you into doing anything, as I have been inspired rather than guilted on LIVit. And not everyone is called to run an orphanage. However I am asking we contribute with our time occasionally. We can visit people in hospital, go to an old age home to see people there, or get involved in prison ministry. I feel our time and presence is far more valuable than our money in furthering the Kingdom of God. And so our tithes are not enough, because faith without works is dead.


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