We’re diving into the Bible today, folks. Because, honestly, there is no way I can say this better than how the Bible says it itself:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 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? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
The Bible makes it pretty darn clear that simply believing in God isn’t enough. After all, even the demons “believe” in God. Are demons Christians? Hardly! To be a Christian means so much more, and to be a Christian means to serve. To help. To take action. To jump in and get your feet wet.
Not “if you have time.” Not “if you have money.” Not “if it’s convenient.” To take action and do what needs to be done.
Not sure what you can do? Here are five great ways to help your community today.
1. Shop Through a Website Like Giving Assistant
Giving Assistant is a website that gives you cash back for purchases you make online. Not only that, though, but they also donate money to a charity of your choice in the amount you specify! It’s an awesome (and easy!) way to help out those in need, while still getting cash back yourself.
2. Donate Supplies to a Shelter
Strapped for time? Donate supplies! Chances are, you probably have more *stuff* in your home than you even know what to do with. What could you give away? Old clothes? Toys? Books? Extra furniture you have lying around? What could you add to your grocery list this week to drop off?
3. Sign Up for Neighborhood Help Days
If your church doesn’t currently hold neighborhood help days, get one started. Essentially, the church compiles a list of people who need help with anything, and then people volunteer to go meet the needs of the people in their community for a few hours on a Saturday morning. These tasks can be anything from raking leaves to cooking and cleaning to cleaning up a playground. What a way to share God’s love in a neighborhood!
4. Visit at a Nursing Home or Hospital
Now, I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, but from what I’ve heard, many people in nursing homes are scared and lonely. They know they might die any time now. What better way to share God’s love than to show them that they are not forgotten, and to make sure that they know where they are headed after they die?
5. Tutor Local School Children
According to an article on NPR.org, “40 to 50 percent of new teachers leave within their first five years on the job.” Most of them probably don’t even have their student loans paid off yet, but they just can’t handle it anymore. Teaching is tough! Why not lend a hand and help a child?
Call a local school and ask if any teachers are looking for volunteers. I’m sure someone will be happy to take you. Don’t worry if you aren’t a trained teacher or don’t know what to do–they’ll put you to work!
Maybe this will sound harsh, but it needs to be said: If you call yourself a Christian, then you have an obligation to act like one. Just believing Jesus is the son of God isn’t enough. You need to act like it too, and that includes caring for the least of these like He commanded us to do.
If you currently help out in your community, what do you do? If not, what’s stopping you?