My mom always used to tell me that the “proof is in the pudding.” However obscure that phrase may seem, those who have heard it all their lives know exactly what it means. It’s not enough to just say it; we have to prove it. The Jews had a similar figure of speech: “the good tree bears fruit.” John the Baptist said it to the Pharisees, and Jesus told His disciples that false teachers could be identified by the fruit they produce (Luke 3:8; Matt. 7:15-17). The Lord thought this principle was so important that He carried it into the New Testament writings. In James 2:17, we are told that faith without works is dead. Think about that for a minute: James compares our faith to a body with our works animating it like a soul. We don’t expect to go to a funeral and see the deceased person get out of the casket, do we? That’s how James describes a faith without proof. Are there opportunities for us to prove our faith? Absolutely! James says that even offering someone food, water, or comfort can be an expression of our faith in God. As we try to give God a good name, let’s not forget Christ’s admonition in Matthew 25:40: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."