It Only Took $5.49

This week I was reminded of a very important lesson which is taught in word and in principle throughout the word of God. I love to dine at Al’s Deli and Grill. I practically lived there in college. I could go at any time of day or night because it was open 24/7. Many late night study breaks were taken over a bacon cheeseburger from Al’s. I had opportunity to be there with my family Wednesday before church services. With the restaurant located in the UAB section of Birmingham, you see a wide variety of people from college students to doctors and lawyers. While I was feasting on my grilled chicken salad, I couldn’t help but notice a man walking aimlessly around the patio, and then he was right behind me. Finally it dawned on me what he was doing. He was looking for someone who would buy him a meal because he was homeless. I was reminded of a very important principle that is made very clear in the book of James.
James, speaking of faith being demonstrated by works, used this very same example. Just as the gentleman I saw would not have had any benefit from someone saying, “I hope you find something to eat,” our faith will not benefit us unless it is accompanied by our works. This is shown in so many ways:


Faith alone will not make us Christians. The Hebrew writer said, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. “ (Heb 11:6) We cannot please God without faith. The Hebrew writer made it clear that God rewards those who “diligently” seek Him. Diligently seeking God involves so much more than only believing that God exists; it involves action. As a matter of fact, James tells us “even the devils believe, and tremble” (James 2:20).

In becoming a Christian, one’s faith must be accompanied by action. We read of men like King Agrippa, who we know believed in God, but had no action behind it, and it did not benefit them. Our faith requires action!


The importance of faith cannot be shown to others without action. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16). God has commanded us many times that we should be involved in good works. Paul, speaking to Titus, said that we are to be a “peculiar people” who are “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). So many in this congregation demonstrate their faith by the works they are involved in, whether it’s bear stuffing, or doing work for others. Don’t think that it goes unnoticed by others or, more importantly, by God.  Peter reminded us of how others view our good works. Peter wrote about our good works “which they observe” – and that literal term means “with outstretched necks” (1 Peter 2:12). Don’t ever fool yourself into believing that the world does not take notice of your good works.

As for the man at Al’s, it only took $5.49 to help him be “warmed and filled”.  While our good works may seem small here, we may never know the benefit they may have to others, or to us, in eternity. How great it is to be part of this congregation which is so “rich in good works”!


Ande Z


Today – Area Wide @ Hoover – Leave at 5:00pm
Friday/Saturday  – Camp Inagehi and Six Flags

Sept 25 – Devo @ Ande Z’s
Sept 29 – Devo @ Tim and Flora’s


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