The Meaning of Life: LOVE (by way of Faith)

RkcMbKnTj[1]Would you like to be useful or useless?  Hmm…. would you like to bear fruit or be unfruitful?  What if I told you that I can guarantee you a useful and fruitful life, would you be interested?  If so – read on / if not – I hear you can now watch cartoons all day on TV!  For those still with me all you have to do is walk this path:

Faith > Moral Excellence > Knowledge > Self-control > Perseverance > Godliness > Brotherly Kindness > LOVE

Walking this path requires effort (diligence) and might not always be easy but if take this journey – picking up each of these qualities – you will neither be useless nor unfruitful.  This is a guarantee from God who promised it through the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB)

Let’s take a look at the very first quality on this path – FAITH.  An ever-so-important element in the Christian life.  If the end of this path is love you will not get there without faith.  Faith (in Jesus) is necessary for salvation For by grace you have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8a); faith is also necessary in order to please God And without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6a); and faith is required in order to receive each quality on the path above which ultimately leads to love.  Since faith is ever-so-important not only for salvation but also for living a useful and fruitful life, perhaps we should make sure we know precisely what faith means. 

What is Faith?

This ever-so-important quality (faith) is a combination of two elements.  Once you combine these two elements, BINGO – you have faith!  The first of these two elements is…. (drum roll)…. BELIEF.  Believing is essential to faith but believing alone is not faith.  Believing is about facts, believing is accepting something as true:  2+2=4 yes, I believe beach-1868772__340that to be true.  Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose on the third day, all according to the Scriptures.  It is critically important that you believe those facts to be true.  But belief alone is not the key to salvation nor is it the quality that enables you to walk the God given path above You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:19)  You must combine your belief with the other element of faith which is…. (drum roll)…. TRUST.  Belief is about facts and trust is about reliance.  You may believe that a chair can hold your weight, but you trust that belief when you sit down in the chair.  You may believe in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection – but you trust it when you rely on that alone for your salvation.  You may believe that the Bible is correct when it tells us to: forgive, give, pray and love but you trust it when you apply it to your life.  My experience is that most believers struggle more with trust than belief when it comes to living the Christian life.  We believe the Bible to be true but somehow don’t receive it for ourselves in our specific circumstances, “Somehow, someway…. this doesn’t apply to me” we say somewhere in our souls.

WARNING:  Corny Fictional Story to Make a Point

Doctor – Joe Bob, your wound actually looks worse than the last time I saw you!  Have you been using the medicine that I prescribed?

Joe Bob – No Doctor, but I did purchase it.  I read the instructions.  I know precisely the recommended dosage, the times to administer and the ingredients.  I researched further and now know when this particular medicine was discovered, who discovered it and when it was approved for usage.  I read about it often and have even committed segments of the instructions to memory.

Doctor – But have you applied it to yourself?

Joe Bob – Well, not exactly.

Doctor – Joe Bob, your efforts to acquire all of that information are impressive, but if you want healing so that you can function you must apply the medicine to yourself!

Child of God – don’t be a Joe Bob.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith > Moral Excellence > Knowledge > Self-control > Perseverance > Godliness > Brotherly Kindness > LOVE

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life: LOVE (by way of Faith)

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