Today I walked into another home. Not just any home, but a home in the rural hills of Armenia. The house was full of dust, and the cracks in the walls screamed for care and attention. Although the floor was full of dirt and rubble, the glow on the faces of those who lived in this home would make you think otherwise.
As we gathered in the living room of this small and fragile structure, the family looked at us with great joy, honored to have us inside the place they call home. They knew why we were there. They knew we were all Christians, looking to help in any way we could.
As I stood there in disbelief, still baffled that I was half way around the world on mission to share the love of Jesus, I couldn’t help but realize how broken the sharing of Jesus’ Good News has really become. Let me explain.
James 2:14-17 states, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 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? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
We Need More Action!
We must understand the importance of sharing The Gospel through our words, but also activating The Gospel through our actions. What does this mean? It means that although the Good News of Jesus is sufficient for all things, one must not ignore the tangible needs of someone who is standing right in front of them. Faith without works is dead. Sharing The Gospel without action is dead. It’s as James said: “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?
The Gospel of Jesus is the most important thing anyone could ever digest, but don’t mistake this truth for giving you a “get out of helping tangibly” free card. The message of Jesus will transform a heart and soul, but a loaf of bread will fill a belly. The two must go hand in hand.
How Do We Change?
We must change the way in which we share the message of Jesus, and initiate a tangible love that coincides with the all-consuming transformative Word of God. We cannot ignore what’s in front of us. We cannot ignore the needs of those around us.
Jesus fed the hungry, healed the lame and even raised people from the dead, all while sharing the Good News of grace and salvation. If we call ourselves Christians, then we must truly yearn to live a life that reflects that of Jesus. This means serving as he served, loving as he loved, and caring as he cared. We must break away from sharing a breadless Gospel and begin putting the needs of others before ourselves.