June 20, 2016
Poof! The potato nearly in my grasp suddenly disappeared. I looked up, dumbfounded. A group of us stood around a metal table bagging up potatoes at the food bank. My coworker had a mischievous glint in her eyes as she placed the tuber in her bag. Soon, the same thing happened again! There seemed to be a little healthy competition to see who could fill the most bags of fresh food for those in need.
Our department at Family Radio volunteered at the county food bank so those less fortunate than us could receive bags of nutritious food for their families. In so doing, we desired to live out Matthew 25:40: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Throughout my life, I’ve learned there is so much more to the Bible than belief; action is involved too. James 2:14-18 gives us a clear description:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
So much need exists in this great big world. Homeless in inner cities, child soldiers in Africa, human trafficking in Asia – those who are destitute and in want of not just basic human rights, but knowledge of God’s love for them, live all around us. In several places in the Bible, I’ve found that God adjures us to show His love to all those in need, whom He has called, “my brethren.”
But there is SO MUCH need – it’s so overwhelming! How can we possibly choose where to spend our time and resources? God has shown me through Scripture that one simple answer suffices: the leading of the Holy Spirit. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). During Paul’s ministry journeys, several times the Holy Spirit kept Paul from ministering in certain areas so he would go where God wanted instead (Acts 16:6-7). God will guide us and prepare us for the plans He has for us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 say, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…not of works, lest any man should boast.” Works do not save; instead, they are evidence of our faith, arising out of love. We love because “He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
After His resurrection, Jesus questioned Peter, “lovest thou me? …Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). This particular feeding is spiritual, and also reflects the action we are to take as a result of our faith.
Potatoes can take many shapes, sizes, and colors, as can our works. How is the Holy Spirit leading you to love the “least of these?” Post your ideas in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!
Family Radio Staff