Thursday, August 18, 2011

FAITH....... AND LOVE

We have been given a "measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).  All of us are at different levels of faith or levels of maturity in our faith (Romans 1:12).  The Bible tells us who we should have faith in, Jesus (John 14:12; Acts 20:21, 24:24).  The Word of God defines "faith" for us in Hebrews 11:1.  Scripture tells us how faith comes - "from listening to this message of good news -- the Good News about Christ" (Romans 10:17) and even states that it is impossible to please God without faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6).

As you can glean from above Faith is the key element in many phrases of Scripture.  One might also see the following phrases - "your faith has healed you" (Matthew 9:22), "your faith has saved you" (Luke 7:50), "justified through faith" (Romans 5:1), "the righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:17), "put their faith in him" (John 2:11), "O, you of little faith" (Matthew 6:30), "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed..." (Matthew 17:20), "by faith" (Galatians 2:20), and "in faith" (1 Timothy 2:15).

Just performing a word search of "faith" in a bible search engine resulted in 257 verses with the word "faith" used in it.  Do you think it might be important? 

Yet, while faith is foundational to starting and keeping a relationship with God, faith is trumped by one, once you are on board.

Being able to speak many languages surely helps break down many barriers.  Being able to see the future and foretell events accurately would be considered a remarkable tool by some and a gift by others.  Being able to believe in God, myself, and others enough to see the right change happen - that is inspirational.  Being able to be generous to the needy and even be a hero on occasion (should the situation present itself) - I could log that as a "feather in my hat", a point to be proud about. [1 Corinthians 13:1-3 in my own words]

To be highly communicative, prophetic, strong in the faith, giving, and even sacrificial does not mean anything unless you have Love guiding your thoughts, actions, and words.

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.  It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  Love will last forever"

That is what 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says about "Love".

Then there is 1 John 4:8 - "God is Love."  So, we should be able to substitute the word "God" for "Love" or the subject of Love in the 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 verse above.

"God is patient and kind. (amen)  God is not jealous (the bad kind of jealous here, there is a healthy, Holy type) or boastful or proud (to the point where it is no good to anyone and even if He is, He's God) or rude.  God does not demand His own way (He gave us choice, He is the ultimate gentleman).  God is not irritable, and He keeps no record of when He has been wronged (forgiveness is available).  God is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth [Himself] wins out.  God never gives up, He never loses faith, He is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (for we have a High Priest in Jesus who went through everything we did but did not sin).  God will last forever."

Faith is good to have, to start and continue with all the benefits that faith contains.  But faith alone is empty.  "There are three things that will endure -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13  

There is a God.  He is Love.  There is great Faith to be had and even more Love to show.