Keep warm and well fed.

Last night at our adult small group while several in the group were sharing some things they’d like us to join in prayer for, we came to Heather who shared about her and her husband’s struggle to get their new house completed, so they can receive their “Certificate of Occupancy” given by the county.  As she shared the stress from the many (yet smallish) unfinished projects that were holding them back, not to mention the new adventures of their new baby boy who is just months old, something became blatantly obvious to me and I believe everyone in the room.

While Heather has only been to our small group for the past three weeks, I can say that she already feels like a “regular”.  So, as she was sharing about the grout that needed to be put down, the few feet of hardwood floor still that needed to be laid, the few inches of dirt that needed to be spread around the yard, and the grass seed that needed to be thrown around, I thought privately to myself, “So, are we going to be a group of people who get together weekly to study the Bible and eat or are we going to be the Bible for each other and show God’s love in “Let’s do this” kinds of ways?  Clearly, it must be the latter.

So, with a sincere belief that everyone else in the room was thinking the same thing, I spoke up as soon as Heather finished and in no time at all, we had a plan in place not only for the very next Friday night, but for several individuals to go over to the house throughout this week and be an extra set of hands and feet to get this punchlist done in short order.

James 2:15-16 speaks directly to that situation we faced in our small group last night.  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”

This is that well-known section of the book of James with the sobering statement “faith without works is dead.”  Imagine if Heather had finished sharing last night about the heavy weight of these projects, put on top of the challenges of caring for an infant, put on top of the strains of work schedules; imagine if after she shared all this and we as a group responded with, “Wow Heather, that really sounds like a lot to bear.  We’ll certainly pray for you about all that.  Let us know how things are going when we meet together again next week.”  In my opinion, we should all have turned in our Christian ID cards then and there.

So, this week will find parts of our small group going each day to help Heather knock these projects out and next Friday night will be “1-2 punch” of the men in our group to handle the projects that remain.  I’m excited to be a part of a small group of believers that not only gather to study and discuss God’s Word and eat cheesecake, but also get into each other’s lives and enjoying true spiritual community.

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