Thursday, December 08, 2005

Faith Expressing Itself Through Love

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6

What exactly does ‘faith expressing itself through love’ mean? This was one of the questions I was reflecting on as part of my Beth Moore bible study titled Believing God. The biggest challenge we all have in common is loving people we don’t feel like loving. As Beth reminded us, God desires to empower us to love and if we believe Philippians 4:13 that ‘we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us’ therefore it means that even in this area of loving the ‘unlovable’ among us, God desires to enable us to love the way He does. We can check our love for others as a way of monitoring our faith.

Excerpt from Beth Moore Bible Study – Believing God

Ephesians 5:1-2
says: 1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. The very nature of love is sacrificial. Not only are we called to sacrificial love at times, we may also expend untold self sacrificing efforts for years and even for the rest of our lives without seeing any apparent fruit. God has called us to love even when: we don’t want to; we don’t feel like it; we get nothing obvious in return, they don’t deserve it; they’re not worth it; they don’t even know it; it makes no difference. God doesn’t call us to sacrifice our sanity but He does call us to sacrifice our selfishness. According to the Book of Truth when we love in Jesus’ name and for the sake of His sacrificial legacy that love absolutely cannot fail. Each of us has to decide whether we are going to believe God’s Word or our eyes and emotions. This is where loving by faith comes in. We’ve got to know that our effort to love sacrificially never fails: 1)to get God’s priority attention (mark 12:28-30); 2) ultimately and undoubtedly be rewarded; 3) to have a profound effect, whether in the other person, in the circumstance, or in us. Love by faith, Love our enemies by faith, Love our neighbors by faith; Love fellow believers by faith. Love our family members by faith. Love our spouses by faith. Love our in-laws by faith. Love our betrayer by faith. Love by faith, not just by feeling.

The reason we find loving so painful, aggravating and fruitless is because we keep trying to love with our own emotions’ pitifully small resources. Romans 5:5 is my favorite scripture to pray when I am challenged to love someone: And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Agapao love is a daily commitment of the will to vacate the heart’s premises of its own preferential affections and make its chambers fleshly canteens for the liquid love of God. We live by faith, we love by faith. Faith and love are inseparable housemates that offer hospitality to hope. When we lose our faith to love, we lose the energy to love. Then we lose our hope. Living is for loving. This is our daily hope: faith expressing itself through love.


Hamster said...

Thanks for the post, Lisa!

God loved the unlovable in us as sinners, so will He not give us the love we need for others? I think the problem is that the world has water-downed the word "love."

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

lisa said...

Yes very true Hamster! More and more this is our responsability to reclaim and demonstrate what true 'love' is all about by modelling Christ especially to the 'unlovable' in our lives. No more watching those Korean