Thomas knew what he needed to do. Having been born to a poor family in India and adopted by Americans, upon a return trip to India he witnessed the dire needs of the children in his hometown. So he knew he had to help. He began making plans to return to the US, finish his education, save a lot of money, and come back in the future.
Then, after reading James 2:14–18 in which James asks, “What good is it . . . if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” Thomas heard a little girl in his native country cry out to her mother: “But Mommy, I’m hungry now!” He was reminded of the times he had been intensely hungry as a child—searching through trash cans for food. Thomas knew he couldn’t wait years to help. He decided, “I’ll start now!”
Today the orphanage he began houses fifty well-fed and cared-for children who are learning about Jesus and getting an education—all because one man didn’t put off what he knew God was asking him to do.
James’s message applies to us as well. Our faith in Jesus Christ provides us with great advantages—a relationship with Him, an abundant life, and a future hope. But what good is it doing anyone else if we don’t reach out and help those in need? Can you hear the cry: “I’m hungry now”?
What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?
James’s letter begins, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations” (1:1). So who was James? Evangelical scholars are largely convinced that he was the half-brother of Jesus. In Mark 6:3, Jesus’s siblings are listed, and James is among them. While those siblings were slow in coming to faith, Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to James after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). As a result, James and his brothers are listed among the believers in Christ in the upper room in Acts 1:14. Following the execution of James the son of Zebedee and the brother of John (Acts 12:2), Christ’s brother James would become a leader in the church (v. 17), arbitrating the first church council in Jerusalem (15:13–29). Sometimes called “James the Just,” he was martyred for his faith around