Every time I read something about the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, and the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (like the book I’m reading now, Maranatha: Our Lord, Come) or hear news that a brother or sister in Christ has gone to be with the Lord, I have this instinctive desire to do more for Christ and it’s basically triggered by fear. But always instantaneously with the thought are these questions, “Why would you want to do that? You want to make sure that you will be saved? You want to do more just so you will be assured of salvation?” And even before the questions are complete, I know that to even think to do more to make sure I receive God’s promised salvation is misunderstanding God’s grace altogether.
I know there’s no way I can work for and earn my salvation; the Lord Jesus has completed the work for me. So, that checked, how can these reminders minister to me? It is not to do more to make sure I will be saved, but to be more faithful to my Savior, to burrow myself deeper into Him. For it is my faith which keeps me attached to Him. For to be far from Him, let alone be cut off from Him, would spell death for me. For it is faith in Him that has saved me. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).
So, what I can do is to prove my faithfulness to Him. When I seek Him more with all my heart and spend more time in His presence, I’m being faithful to Him. When I do my best to obey His commands, honor them, and live them out in my daily life, I’m being faithful to Him. When I desire Him to expand and grow my love for others, so that I delight to think about the welfare of the widow and the fatherless, to the “least of these”, and do something for them, I’m being faithful to Him.
It is my faithfulness to Him that drives me to do more, and it has become clear to me that I can only prove that faithfulness through my love.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Gal. 5:6, emphasis added)
Faith that works through love.
It took two full years before I got a good grasp of it. For faith without works is dead (James 2:20). And the greatest faith is rendered as nothing without love.
…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Cor. 13:2)
So, it is a trio:
FAITH that WORKS through LOVE.
Now I understand fully why our dearly beloved Hon. Pastor Wilde Almeda would want to leave the comforts of home and the congregation of the saints and enter into the “lions’ den”, the camp of the most feared terrorist group in the country, the Abu Sayyaf, to preach the Gospel, pray for the sick hostages, and help with their safe release.
It was great FAITH that WORKED through unfeigned LOVE; fearless faith proven through fervent love for the Lord and for the unsaved. He loves the Lord so much he would obey Him and follow Him to the ends of the earth. Halleluiah! To God be the glory!
And I think about beloved Brother Alvin Flores, one of the prayer warriors who went with the beloved pastor in that most dangerous peace mission, as he went to be with the Lord just three nights ago. Together with his companions, he experienced the horrors of being in the constant presence of the enemy; escaped at night without the light of the moon and stars, in danger of wild beasts and falling into deep ravines; stayed on the ground with his knees deeply rooted in prayer as bombs fell from military planes, cutting down trees and turning over the earth in their wake.
Their faith saw them through that 3-month ordeal and came out of it unharmed. Faith that was not without love. And it is this faith that was proven through love that Brother Alvin finally laid at his Savior’s feet as he saw Him at last.
My gratitude list ~ the things I am thankful to the Lord for:
(For over a year now, I have been joining Ann in sharing my one thousand gifts list, but I haven’t been numbering mine. I believed that my weekly list was just a small fraction of God’s daily gifts and to number them would be putting a limit to the rather COUNTLESS blessings. But today, I will start to number them, but write only the ones that may edify and encourage others, leaving the rest written on my heart).
- For another evening out with the family (another “travel test”); relishing these healing moments from the Lord.
- For the loving support and patience of my beloved husband; he is one with me in stepping into faith at this time of our life.
- For the love of my daughter Hannah, quietly receiving her little brother’s hostilities and punches inside our parked car just so I wouldn’t be stressed while their dad went into the restaurant.
- For Tim always wanting to sit beside me when I go out to the garden.
- For Thursday night which found me praising, worshiping, and weeping before God; weeping in deep gratitude for His enduring mercies – how can the soul forget?
- For brethren welcoming fellow Christians from the states, embracing and showing brotherly love. Blessed to see the wondrous sight!
I’m linking up with other blogs, please check the list at the side bar.
Journey with Jesus,