Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Faith and Love Go Together

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

The disciples had prayed for a man’s son to be healed. He was a demoniac - seized by evil spirits to do things uncommon for human beings. Even though they prayed, and I assume fervently, there was no deliverance. So in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 17, we read that the boy’s father brought him to Jesus. It resulted in the lad’s instantaneous, complete healing.

Perplexed, the disciples wanted to know why they weren’t successful to cast out the evil spirit. Jesus responded, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” [17:20]. Jesus repeated that same truth in Matthew 21:21, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will . . . say to this mountain [the Mt. of Olives], ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.”

It’s obvious that Jesus wasn’t telling the disciples that they could move the Mt. of Olives for the simple reason that it had a prophetic future. It had to remain where it was because Jesus would return to Jerusalem and stand on that very mountain. So what was His point? Mountain moving was a figure of speech in the Lord’s day meaning, to overcome great obstacles. 

When you “move mountains” — overcome great obstacles that’s faith in action. And, yes, that faith is possible, but it must be tempered. Paul talked about “mountain moving” faith with the Christ followers in Corinth. He told them that if they exercised their faith, without love, it was good for nothing. It was a harsh rebuke, but it emphasized the importance of the Christ follower’s motives. “Mountain moving” faith is neither for show nor selfish pursuits, as it apparently was for the Corinthians.

Whatever your gifts and talents are, no matter how well you speak, regardless of your biblical knowledge, it’s love that validates your work for the Lord.

Loveless faith is useless faith.

If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2c

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