Sunday, May 22, 2011

When the devil's about to capsize your boat -- pt 2

There’s one more part to this diatribe.

Everybody who responded to me that they had some obstacle that made it impossible to help – even a little – was unanimous in assuring me to just have faith; and everything will be all right. This goes back to the thing I wrote in the second paragraph above.

Everything's gonna be all right. We say that – preachers do – even sing it; but in a world of realities, we now that it’s at least possible that things WON’T be all right.

For years I’ve wanted to preach or at least write an exposition on James 2:26. We love the codicil, “faith without works is dead;” but everybody I’ve ever heard cite this passage ONLY talks about that. It’s such a pervasive thing that I believe it has led to a warped understanding of what James was talking about when he said “works.”

As a former Jehovah’s witness, I have indulged in an apologia against what we call “works-based Salvation;” on the premise that “works” is a code word for good behavior. But if we look at the passage in context – beginning at, say, verse 12; maybe we come away with a different viewpoint.

I like verses 14 - 16, because they nail James’ intent, I think.
New King James Version:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

New Living Translation – straight as an arrow to the heart of the matter:

Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone. Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well" -- but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

James is saying, it’s USELESS to pat a brother on the back and wish him well, and then drive away in your Benz to gorge yourself at P. F. Chang’s. James is saying, God doesn’t want you to wish your brother well, and hope he gets the stuff he needs, God wants you to give him some of yours!

I’m stranded, 7,000 miles from my homeland, with barely enough for a night’s stay at a hotel. While I appreciate anyone’s prayers, what I need is a plane ticket.

I have nearly 2,000 friends on Facebook. Were it not for the aversion to asking people for anything, I’d post a note on my wall asking for 75 cents from each of them – a dollar to be on the safe side. (Actually, if I knew who to call on to handle the influx in an expedient manner, I might do it anyway; but since the only person who’s even answering me right now is in South Africa …)


I’m still gonna be in real trouble unless God puts something on the plate, REAL soon!

I've been trying for the past six weeks to find a way to help get home. (read on, below)

Talking to my brother, a moment ago, he suggested something I hadn't thought of:

You could help me get home by making an offering through my PayPal account: become a Covenant Partner for $10, $25, $100, or you tell me how much.

I realize that times are tough, and so something as large as a whole plane ticket might be out of the question; but with almost 2,000 Facebook friends, you could help me get home for the price of a Happy Meal. C'mon, friends and family, help me keep MY boat from capsizing!
If you'd consider it, email me offline at Keep My Boat Afloat, and I will email you the PayPal method; as well as a small "thank you" gift.

Ask your friends if they'll help
I haven't tried this, yet, so I don't know how well it will work, but let's see!


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