“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).” James 2:17 AMP
Several years ago I really felt like God was calling me to write a piece on faith. It was a relatively short piece that took me on an interesting journey. What came out of a review of many scriptures was an outline that looked something like this:
Don’t look back
Trust steadily in God
Each area had a unique insight of its own in how it connected to the expression of faith. There were several personal antidotes shared and many scriptures.
The scripture that really got hold of my heart was 1 Corinthians 13 in a new and different way. It is historically referred to as the “Love Chapter.” However, what I began to see is that it also has all the components for a robust faith life. My conclusion was this: without love we cannot walk in faith. Love is the foundation for everything. Just as faith requires a demonstration to be activated, love does as well. We cannot operate in either one without interacting in community with others.
So my prayer is “Father help me to love like You believing that all things are possible, ALL THINGS are possible, with You.”
“25 So put away your lies and speak the truth to one another because we are all part of one another. 29 Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:25, 29 The Voice
What are good words? According to this scripture, they are words that build others up when they need it most. They communicate grace. We are warned of a time that some will abandon their faith and follow deceiving spirits and demonic teachings. We are to be wise and not accept lies but speak the truth. We are called to reinforce truth in faith and good teachings. We are called to cling to God’s Word for our hope, our strength and salvation. We are called to speak this truth in love and to bind ourselves together not splinter the body of Christ.
Father, I pray that I will be wary of words designed to maliciously tear the body of Christ apart. Please help me be careful to honor You in my words and actions. I pray that I will be a reflection of You, Your Word and Your Holy Son that died on the cross for me. Help me love like You. Help me see with Your eyes how precious each and every person is to You.
“The wise will pay attentionto these wordsand will grow in learning,and the discerning will receive divineguidance,.” Proverbs 1:5 The Voice
The initial building block for knowledge is wisdom. Proverbs 1:1-7 is rich with instruction and a description of what wisdom looks like. The more time I spend in God’s Word the more I am thankful for the wise way He deals with my heart. I am also very thankful for the way He loves me, beautifully and elegantly. It truly is my desire to be a reflection of His love and wisdom to others. As I ponder what that reflection might look like, the image of a lighthouse comes to mind.
A lighthouse is light that is reflected. It is a beacon in a storm. It’s designed to stand firm and withstand intense conditions. It provides safe harbor. It lights the way to provide protection in rocky and dangerous places. It is a beacon to save the lost and light the path to safety.
“1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves. 4 The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea. 5 Your testimonies are very sure; holiness [apparent in separation from sin, with simple trust and hearty obedience] is becoming to Your house, O Lord, forever.” Psalm 93 AMP
As I read this scripture today, I could imagine the Hallelujah chorus playing and bursting into the part that says “The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!” These words are so powerful! I loved all the ways this passage describes how God reigns: gloriously, powerfully, eternally, triumphantly and in truth and holiness. It reminded me that if God is with us, who can come against us? His love endures forever!
Dearest Father, thank you for Your enduring love! Thank you for the infinite characteristics of Your omnipotent care.
21 No wonder we are happy in the Lord! For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name. 22 Yes, Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone. Psalm 33:21-22 Living Bible
I have an old Living Bible that belonged to my mother who went on to be with Jesus some 25 years ago. Every time I touch the pages I can’t help but think of her. I think of sitting in church together on Sunday mornings. I think of her attentiveness to the message. I think of her care in preparing a fabulous Sunday dinner every week. I think of the richness and depth of her love. Unconditional acceptance.
I still miss her. As I read these verses, I truly believe that she was happy in the Lord! I know that she had the contentment and peace of His constant love. She shared that contentment and constant love with me. I am so thankful to have had a praying Godly mother! I know I am here in my walk with God as a direct result of those prayers.
As I sit and meditate on these words in Psalms, I find myself asking God what He and Enoch talked about. That was such an intimate, loving relationship that God scooped him right up! First, I got this picture of a pillow. It’s the difference between a stiff decorative pillow that sits somewhere for people to look at but never touch versus a pillow that gets all smushed just right to comfortably lay your head on at night. It seems like we are supposed to mold into God like that and He molds into us at the same time.
Then I had the picture of holding hands with God and walking and talking. Delighting in each other’s company. True companionship. We tell each other what is on each other’s heart. Listening intently. Honoring each other’s desires.
Lord, forgive me when I don’t listen to the desires of Your heart. Thank you for always listening to mine! I adore You Almighty God. Thank you for giving me my mom to show me how to love well and unconditionally. Thank you for my daughter. Help me to always love her with Your heart. Show me how to love others with Your heart as well.
“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 NIV
God loves love and faith. Everything operates out of those two things. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, those are two very important keys to the kingdom of God.
Love governs our relationships — most centrally, our relationship with God. If we love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength, then we want to meditate on His Word in order to be more like Him and please Him. We will want to walk and talk each and every day with Him. We will want to be quick to be obedient when He has a request of us.
Faith is the manifestation our love of God in us and God’s love for everyone through us. Faith is the special sauce that creates power and momentum. It opens up the impossible and allows God’s Living Word to flow through us to touch others, do the miraculous and change lives.
Father, stretch me. Stretch my heart and faith muscles. Make me fit and strong and nimble to do whatever You ask of me. Thank you for Your Living Word and the life that flows from it. I pray it will flow through me.