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Give Them A Drink
Bible study on doing good.

As Jesus teaches His disciples regarding service in God's kingdom, He relates their work to giving a drink of cold water to a child -- "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward" (Mk. 10:42).

Giving a "cup of cold water" represents doing good to others, being benevolent and sharing with them.

Two Kinds of Faith -- Living and Dead
James tells us about two types of faith. One is dead, resulting in eternal death. The other is living, resulting in eternal life.

James says our faith is useless if it does not have works, rhetorically asking, "Can that faith save him" (Jas. 2:14)? Of course, the answer is no.

Then James uses an example of one Christian who sees another Christian in need of food and clothing. The richer Christian tells the needy Christian to, "'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,'" without giving him the things he needs. From this scenario, James concludes, "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself" (Jas. 2:17).

Our faith is either living or dead. A living faith is working in the Lord's kingdom. A dead faith is not working in the Lord's kingdom.

Demons Have a Dead Faith
James uses the demons as an example of those who have a dead faith. They believe and shudder (Jas. 2:19), but they will spend eternity in hell (2 Pet. 1:4). This faith is useless (Jas. 2:20).

We know whether our faith is living or dead by examining our work in God's kingdom (Jas. 2:18). If we are busy doing God's will, our faith is living, and we will live in heaven forever.

What We Do To Others, We Do To Jesus
Along the same vein of thinking, Jesus tells us about judgment. The people who spend eternity in heaven are those who have a living faith.

Jesus tells the righteous people, "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me" (Matt. 25:35-36).

The righteous inquired, asking Jesus at what time they did these things.

Jesus replied, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me" (Matt. 25:40). They did these things to Jesus when they did them to their brethren.

Righteous people are those who are working in the Lord's kingdom. As James says, relating our work in God's kingdom to salvation, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (Jas. 1:27).

Store Up Treasure In Heaven
When you do good to others, sharing your physical blessings with them, you are storing up "the treasure of a good foundation for the future," so that you may "take hold of that which is life indeed" (1 Tim. 6:19).

It's easy to use our blessings on ourselves, and forget about others. But spiritual individuals care about other people, just as God cares about us. Therefore, as we do good toward others, we store up treasure in heaven.

Jesus says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:19-20).

Most Importantly, Help Them Drink Living Water
Jesus, speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, says, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water . . . whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life" (Jn. 4:10-14).

Helping someone drink living water, whereby he'll be saved, is the most important thing we can do. To help them drink living water, we simply help them obey Jesus, who is the source of eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9).

Do Good to All
As Christians, our treasure is in heaven as we serve God to the best of our ability. We want to help people who are in need, doing good to all, especially to the household of the faith. And most importantly, we want to help people get to heaven.

Where is your treasure?