#126 Faith that Works
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. - Proverbs 22:9
Text: Proverbs 22:9; James 2:14-17
Prop: some latex balloons of different colors
Summary: God wants us to put our faith into action. We should help the poor and needy.
Look at these balloons I brought with me today. I like balloons. They remind me of birthday parties. Let me ask you something. Would this balloon make anyone smile if I merely tied a string to it and let it dangle? No, of course not. I have to work and blow some air into it to make it become a real decoration. I will do that now. [Inflate a balloon.] Wow! This is a pretty balloon! What would happen if I do not tie the end of the balloon and let go of it? Yes, it will go flying off wildly until all the air goes out. I will tie the end so the air will stay in and then I can use it for a decoration. This balloon is like having faith that works. Let's read what the Bible says about our faith.
[Read James 2:14-17.]
In the Epistle by James, he told Christians to show their faith by putting it into action. Like a balloon without air, our faith is meaningless unless we put it to work. If we see a poor person who needs food and clothing, it is not enough to say "I hope your situation improves." That would be like letting go of the untied balloon and letting all the air out. We would just be full of hot air and of no use to him. If we are able to help him, we should give him something to eat and clothes to wear. That makes our faith in God like a beautiful decoration, a tied balloon filled with air. That is faith that works. Many places in the Bible teach that we should help the poor and needy. Listen to this verse from Proverbs:
[Read Proverbs 22:9.]
The person with a bountiful eye is a person who looks for a chance to help others. That person is willing to share what God has given him with others, especially the poor. The Bible says that anyone who helps the poor will be blessed, or happy, because he is doing what God wants him to do. That is a great example of loving your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). That is what James meant when he said not to simply hear the word of God, but to do something about it (James 1:22).
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, let me be like a pretty balloon and have faith that works by helping others, especially the poor. Amen.
Teacher's note: Balloons may be a choking hazard to small children. You may want to provide a balloon that the teacher inflates for each child old enough to keep it as a reminder of the lesson.
©2003 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
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