Don’t Be a Goat

James 2:15-17  KJV

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

It’s a question that goes back to the very beginning of the Bible. Am I My Brother’s Keeper? This is what Cain asked God when God asked him what happened to his brother Abel after Cain had killed him (Gen 4:8-9). And God answered him by relegating him to the backside of the desert and marking him for life.  Still, Cain built up an empire that was against God. And nothing good came out of Cain.

Here James is making a valid point about how we should be treat others if we consider ourselves Christians.  If we came across a situation where someone needed our help, would we do what we could to help them, or just issue them a blessing and tell them to be on  their way?
A passage in the New Testament that is used quite often when we talk about how we should treat our fellow man.  It is found in Matthew 25.

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

You notice that the ones on the left don’t have much of a future because they did not ministered to their brother and sister. This shows how important works are. Even Jesus shows us that importance in this short little passage the tells us whenever we do something for somebody else it’s like doing it for Him. Now we have to remember that this doesn’t only go for the good things we do to others but also the bad things we do to others. Jesus doesn’t mention that but we can apply it from what He says. If we’re backbiting or gossiping, if we’re speaking ill about somebody, if we’re bickering and complaining and murmuring about leadership, whether it’s in the workplace or in the church, we’re doing it to Jesus. Have you ever thought about it that way?
Once we are saved, which is a work that is done by grace through faith, works becomes an essential part of our growth as a Christian.  These words of Jesus tell us that if we do not assist those who are hurting and needy, then we will “go into everlasting punishment”.  Does that speak of the essential part works plays in our salvation or not?  We must be about the Father’s business!


10 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Goat

  1. SR

    Hey Pete,

    Great post and I want to relate a story to you of how I was able to bless someone because of one of your post.

    Remember the post where you said, “Seeing someone in the store and praying for them.” Well those words hit me the other day, but it did not come as prayer. I give your words all the credit.

    There was an elderly crippled couple which came into Walmart the other day. It was pouring rain and all the basket’s were soaked. I was trying to dry mine and they were behind me, trying to dry theirs as well.

    All of a sudden the word’s of your post hit me. “You can pray for someone in a store.” I quit drying mine and dried theirs.

    It was a small thing Pete, but she had her purse wrapped around her neck bc she could not put it in that wet basket. After we dried it, she was able to get it off of her neck.

    Like Mother Teresa said, (again,) “Do small things with great love.” Us going to heaven or hell depends on it!

    I want to thank you for those words, bc I probably would have passed them by without them. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Don’t Be a Goat | I Can Fly

  3. davidallport

    I am looking into volunteering now and hopefully starting next semester….possibly with esol … I feel like I have a long way to go in the area of good works but am thankful for your writings that are pointing me in the right direction.


    1. Pete Post author

      Volunteering is great as long as that’s what God ants you to do. The only works that count for anything is what He asks of us. That still small voice will guide you!

      Liked by 1 person


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