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“But without faith it is impossible to please him…” (Hebrews 11:6a)
The very foundation of our life with Christ is faith. We must have faith. We are saved through faith. We must continue to walk in faith. We should pray, as the disciples did, that the Lord would increase our faith.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 17 that with faith as a grain of mustard seed a mountain could be removed, and again in Luke 17 that with that same faith a sycamine tree would be plucked up by the root and planted in the sea.
Yet I Corinthians 13:2 gets to the heart of the issue. You see, though we need faith to live the Christian life, faith is not enough. Faith without works is dead. I Corinthians 13:2 says that “though I have ALL FAITH, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”
It is easy to get so caught up in our Christian living that we begin to overlook others. We may be keeping our Bible reading schedule on track and showing up for every church ministry- yet not noticing the souls that God has placed along our way. If so, our lives have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) Also, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Galatians 6 is so full of advice on how we should treat each other. Paul encourages and admonishes us, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Ephesians 6:9,10)
Charity is having a genuine and sincere concern for others. Genuine. From the heart. Sincere. Without hypocrisy.
And not just concern for “certain” others. God is no respecter of persons.
“Charity suffereth long (longsuffering), and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
That’s a lot to live up to. In fact, I’ll be working on that until Jesus comes! (And I hope you are too.) Because faith without works is dead. You’ve heard the old saying, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care!” It’s true.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Cor. 13:13)