What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. —James 2:14-17.
But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. —Matthew 21:28-30.
A smile or nice word may make the initiator and recipient feel good. But being ‘nice’ or tickling peoples’ ears by saying what we think they want to hear does nothing for obedience to our God or Christ’s commandments. And that’s what matters.
Instead, love others with the love of our God and Christ – the kind of love that exclaims, “I’m going to do the right thing by you despite how I feel” – the Greek ‘agape’ love. Smile or not. Wax eloquent in speech or spew words dripping in honey . . . or don’t. Regardless, act out of faith and honor your heavenly Father in true worship (i.e. self-control of your body) and your fellow human through benevolence. After all, that’s how we’ll be judged in the last days.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘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.’” —Matthew 25:34-36.
Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!
And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!