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"
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
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
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?