The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
I was listening to a podcast today by Judah Smith, Pastor of the City Church. I first heard Pastor Judah at the Hillsong Conference in Australia this summer. This podcast was based on the fact that this scripture: The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6b is the bottomline, essential part of the Gospel. And how we are not to pretend to love people, but by having faith that the Lord, through His grace, will give us the genuine love for people. We can’t truly love people on our own, we are selfish by nature..it’s by His grace that we can love people like Jesus loves them. It’s the same grace that saved us, the same grace that allowed us to recognize our need for Him as our Savior – that allows us to genuinely and wholeheartedly love people.
It doesn’t seem like that hard of a concept, but when I thought about it for a while, it kind of slapped me in the face. How often do we try to “love our neighbor” on our own? Bake them cookies, smile, ask how their day went…but do we do it because “it’s the right thing to do” or because the Lord is miraculously and gracefully working through us? If I’m being honest, sometimes I try to love people because I know I’m supposed to. Jesus wants us to surrender our selfish desires before Him daily…we don’t have to try this whole life thing alone. He is there, right beside us, loving people…perfectly.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:3-8a