James 2:14-17 (New International Reader's Version)14 My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people claim they have faith but don't act like it? Can that kind of faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or sister has no clothes or food. 16 Suppose one of you says to them, "Go. I hope everything turns out fine for you. Keep warm. Eat well." And you do nothing about what they really need. Then what good have you done? 17 It is the same with faith. If it doesn't cause us to do something, it's dead.
How do we express our love for God and our belief in Jesus? Has it made a difference in the lives we lead? Can your old friends tell that there is a change in you now that you have gotten involved in following Christ? Is there a change in the way you see the world and those that are in need around you? As followers of Jesus Christ we all need to ask ourselves these questions and examine if we are truly that are living lives of faith.
James, the brother of Jesus, was a leader of the Jerusalem council, and he expresses to us in his letter(said to have been written before 50 A.D)that as Christians, we need to live lives that are consistent with our faith in Jesus Christ. This means that if we truly are trying to follow God's heart, and the example of Jesus, we will show the world that we are Christ's followers by the way we serve and treat others. He charecterizes this using the example of how we treat the poorer believers around us.
If we are truly saved by Christ's sacrifice, our actions for others will show it. It is impossible for us to look upon human suffering without it moving us into action. That doesn't mean that we don't sometimes try to ignore the Spirit of God pulling on our hearts, but we cannot go very far before we are compelled to take action. As we consider lives of giving be sure that we examine our faith, attitudes and actions on behalf of others. As the old Christian folk song goes, "They will know we are Christians by our love".