One of these days I am going to preach a sermon on the subject, but I was alerted to an awesome idea yesterday while listening to a podcast. It was something I kind of already knew, but never before had I actually thought about the implications.
And what was the idea? Paul tells us how faith works. Have you ever wondered? Or have you ever struggled to have enough faith? Well, Paul writes, quite clearly, in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
The latter part of the sentence is what is most intriguing to me. A few other versions translate it this way: “What is important is faith expressing itself in love” (NLT). “But faith . . . worketh by love” (KJV). Are you getting the picture? The way that faith is expressed and experienced is by agape love. So faith is not some intangible experience. The way that faith is seen is by the agape love that we have for others and for God.
But there’s more to it than this. The Greek word for “work” in this instance is the word energeo—from whence we get the word “energy” and “energize.” So what Paul actually tells us is that our faith is “energized” by agape love—this love actually energizes our faith experience.
So this tells me that if my faith is kind of floundering, the way to have it flourish is by being energized by Christ’s agape love for me. It tells me that each day I need to “study” the cross—and by so doing I will get a jolt of energy to my faith and be motivated to live my life for Christ. This is why, elsewhere, Hebrews admonishes us: “When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story [the cross] again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:3).
Do you want that energy and adrenaline shot into your soul? I know I sure do!