“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)

When Jesus came to the earth, He turned the world’s value system upside-down. Instead of living for Himself, Jesus modeled a life of servanthood and love. Instead of spending time with those in positions of power, Jesus chose to spend time with the hopeless. In the end, Jesus gave his life so that the whole world might come to know God.

As followers of Christ, we are called to share this message with the world. This happens when we reach out to others through our words and our actions.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

True faith responds to the needs of others, according to James 1:19-27. Faith without works is a dead faith because the lack of works reveals an unchanged life or a spiritually dead heart. There are many verses that say that true saving faith will result in a transformed life, that faith is demonstrated by the works we do. How we live reveals what we believe and whether the faith we profess to have is a living faith. James is not saying that our works make us righteous before God but that real saving faith is demonstrated by good works.

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:16)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13)  What saves us is the Holy Spirit’s regeneration of our hearts, and that regeneration will invariably be seen in a life of faith featuring ongoing obedience to God. (Read James 2:14-26)

May our hearts be moved from inaction to action, from words alone to deeds that back them up. Compassionate action not only aids those mired in life’s difficulties, but it may also make them open to the greater message from our Savior who sees their need and can do so much more for them.

Lord, open my heart. Show me the needs of those around me, that I can be the shining example of Your love for Your glory. Give me a servant’s heart also. I pray that You would work in me and through me so that Your righteousness would be alive in me. I know that the law is good, but that it is better to walk in Your love through the guidance of Your Spirit, for by doing so I fulfill the law naturally. Save me from the self-righteousness that a legalistic life brings. But make me righteous, as You are righteous, as I surrender to the inner working of Your Holy Spirit. Amen