Love: Faith’s Batteries

by Lester Young

You’re probably familiar with Galatians 5:6, the verse of Scripture that tells us “faith… works by love.” And if you think about it for a second, it shouldn’t be too difficult to grasp that the inverse concept is just as valid: ‘without love, faith won’t work.’ Just another way of saying the same thing, right?

Now, we’ve heard quite a bit in recent years about ‘faith’ and ‘love.’ And, undeniably, that’s a good thing: the Body of Christ as well as the world at large have certainly needed to hear about them – and if you ask me, both groups continue to be in dire need of a lot more teaching along those same lines. (Not pointing any fingers, …just sayin’.) Nevertheless, I think we’ve largely still missed a fundamental building block in that whole ‘love and faith’ process – and missing that particular one will tend to cause the whole structure to develop cracks and be much less sturdy than it should be.

What am I talking about? Well, given the title of this piece it’s probably rather easy to deduce that the “missed fundamental building block” I’m referring to is love. And that’s correct; ‘love’ is exactly what I’m talking about. Our faith can only work by love, and we’re commanded to love one another just as we love ourselves – in other words, “treat others exactly as you would want to be treated” (Leviticus 19:18; John 13:34, 15:12; Luke 6:31; James 2:8). And yet – even if you try your best to do that – if your concept of the love the Bible is talking about begins and ends there, I submit to you that you have still missed the main focus of the matter.

You see, although you may be as well-meaning as anyone who’s ever been born, if you attempt to act ‘love’-ly toward others simply because you’re commanded to, you’ll be doing it solely based on your own ‘natural’ strength – and eventually that strength is going to fail. But if you’ll back up just a tad and grab hold of that fundamental building block I spoke of, it’ll change not only your perspective but everything that comes after that, as well. And that building block is actually something you’re already aware of, because you’ve heard at least a thousand times before: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16).

Unfortunately, the revelation of that verse has largely gone zooming over our heads without us paying much real attention to it. God confirmed that very same love for us in Jesus’ words when He prayed, “…that the world may know that You [God the Father]… have loved them, [exactly, just as much] as you have loved Me” (John 17:23). And that in itself is completely astounding! But here’s the thing – let me ask you this: are you a part of ‘the world’? If you are, then you have license to substitute your own personal name in that place, and treat it just as if God’s talking directly and specifically to you – because He is! So, do it. Read those two verse again, but this time replace ‘the world’ with your name. Go ahead; I’ll wait.

“For God sooo loved [your name here], that He gave His only begotten Son [for me] so that I wouldn’t perish but have everlasting life!” (John 3:16)

“…That [your name here] may know that You [Father]… have loved [him/her], [exactly, just as much] as you have loved Me!” (John 17:23)

It’s kind of difficult to consider yourself as truly “beloved” without taking it from the perspective of an ‘individual’ who’s uniquely special and important to God (Matthew 3:17; Philippians 4:1; 1 John 4:1). But once you get a revelation of just how deeply your heavenly Father feels about you personally and not just corporately as a tiny, insignificant part of the massive whole, your entire outlook will begin to change. You’ll begin to know that you’re loved tenderly and dearly… and you’ll begin to believe it (1 John 4:16). That will cause you to become rooted and grounded in the truth that you personally are greatly loved by God Himself (Ephesians 3:17). It will completely change your relationship with Him, and give you the courage to go boldly up to His throne of Grace, continually (Hebrews 4:16).

Once you know and understand God realllly loves you, you’ll find yourself having the impetus, stability and guts to start ‘loving’ those around you, and it won’t really matter to you how (or even if) they receive that love. You’ll be aware that it’s an abundance of His love directed personally toward you that makes you comfortable enough to show love to others (Romans 5:5). You won’t need their response to validate you; you’ve already got the Father’s love warming you up on the inside. And you know what that makes your ‘love’ then? Spiritual. Unconditional. The highest kind of love there is. The love that never fails – just like the heavenly Father’s (1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 John 4:17).

Go to God and ask Him for a revelation of how much you mean to Him (James 1:5). Then shower the love that He reveals for you on the people in your life. Use His love as your well of strength to keep the Love Command, not your own natural strength. As a result, your faith will never again have to suffer from ‘dead batteries.’

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6 Comments to “Love: Faith’s Batteries”

  1. Thank you for this teaching, Lester. The last paragraph is powerful. Blessings, Dee

  2. It has been a while, Lester! Glad to have you back! Hope you are good.

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