What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? … So also faith by itself; if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14, 17
I stood waiting. My coffee was ready. My plate was out. The butter was softened to a creamy consistency. But, still nothing. Time was ticking away and still no bagel had popped up for me to slather with butter and eat before work.
Wondering what was taking so long, I peered over the top of the toaster and peeked in…nothing. That’s right nothing. The toaster was empty. I hadn’t put my bagel in it. At that moment, I realized in order to get something out of the toaster, I had to put something in the toaster.
An empty toaster doesn’t warm anything up. It just sits unused taking up counter space. I can set a plate around it. Look at it. Polish it. Praise it. Wonder at it. Hope for it. But, until I put something in it and pull the lever down, it doesn’t fulfill its purpose.
There is no breakfast without a bagel in the toaster.
I think faith is like a toaster. If we want to get something out of it, we have to put something in it. Our faith is meant to drive us to do things. It is meant to warm up our lives with helping others. It is designed to empower us to minister to those in need. It doesn’t do anything unless we put something in it. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Our faith works when we put it to work.
And, just like a toaster can warm up different types of bread your faith in action can meet different types of needs. Your words of encouragement matter. Your hospitality make a difference to someone who is lonely. Your donations and volunteer hours help the needy. Your monetary gifts ripple out beyond their starting point. Your example of walking by faith strengthens those who follow behind you.
So the next time you make toast, an English muffin, bagel or frozen waffle, ask God to show you one way you can put your faith into action to meet someone else’s need. Don’t be like me standing around waiting for the bagel you never put in your toaster because toasters only work when you put something in them.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.