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Why is the Love-Walk so Tough?

Snow HeartBefore the New Year, I was talking about the faith-love connection in my posts.  I want to continue along those lines.  Do you know why it’s so hard to walk in love sometimes?  The answer will become clear as we move forward.

If you remember, I was using the illustration of faith as the fuel and love as the generator for the power of God.  These are the two things that must be in place for us to see the blessing of God in our lives.  I want to go a little further with this concept.

One of the ways we run into problems is using the right fuel in the right device.  For instance, a candle produces light and heat.  But, I wouldn’t try to cook a steak with a candle.

Love is the key to using the power of God.  So we need to understand how it works.  This kind of love (Agape in Greek) that the Bible speaks about is not an emotion.  You have probably already heard many teachings on the subject.  It is taught that love is a decision.

That’s good as far as it goes, but love is much more than that.  To truly use the power of God, love must be a decision TO ACT.  Remember, love is the spiritual pressure, but what is also needed is a saved mind that acts in faith.  Without action there is no love and there is no power.  If I have truly decided to love you, then I will pray for you, encourage you, and bless you.

This is probably the biggest hindrance to power production in our lives.  We like holding on to the fuel to show everyone, “Look how much I have.”  We don’t want to actually use the generator.  We only want to impress people by our abundance of fuel.  What we really need is to learn the truth that faith by itself is not power.

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Thessalonians 1:3

This verse gets right to the heart of the matter.  Work in this verse is the power that produces change.  This work is produced by faith operating through love.

But this verse also says that there is a labor associated with love.  This word labor in Greek means that which reduces strength.  To put it simply, the lamp burns oil to produce light.  The engine burns gasoline to move the car.  In the same way, love burns faith to produce spiritual power.

Why is it so hard to love others?  The reason is that love requires a constant supply of faith to fuel it.  Unless we’re willing to work at it, it’s easier to just ignore it.

Question: Do you notice the labor involved in loving someone?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Faith, Power of God

 

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The Secret of Knowing God’s Will

I’ve been posting about the power of God at work in us.  This is the power that changes us and others.  We saw that the first component of the Holy Spirit’s power in us is love.  It’s this love of Christ that provides the spiritual pressure that propels us forward.

We started by looking at Paul’s view of this power.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

The second component of power is described here as self-discipline.  Actually the word translated self-discipline is literally a saved mind in the Greek.  I believe that the two components of power in the Word of God are love and a saved mind.  If we follow this through we find that the rest of Scripture confirms this.

Remember what I said about electrical power.  The two parts were voltage and current.  How does electrical current relate to the truth of a saved mind?  Physically speaking, current is electrical movement.  Current is how fast the electrons are moving through the wires.  In the verse we read from Second Timothy, Paul said that the components of spiritual power were love and a saved mind.  Just how important is it to possess a “saved mind?”

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Without a saved mind, a mind that has been washed and renewed by the Word of God, we will never grasp what God’s will is for our lives.  The problem is that most modern Christians don’t place a priority upon renewing their minds.  We want to think and act the way the world does.

This makes for a very interesting dilemma.  Most Christians seem to want to know God’s will for their lives.  Yet, we don’t prepare our minds to receive it.  According to this verse the only way to know God’s will, is to renew your mind.

This was evident in the ministry of Christ.

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”
John 6:38

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
John 4:34

In natural terms, electrical current is the movement of electricity in the lines.  Power requires movement or action.  Jesus was able to move and act because His mind was attuned to God’s will.  It’s clear from Scripture and the life of Christ that a saved mind is spiritual current because it produces action.  We know from the Word of God that “faith without works [action] is dead.” (James 2:17)  A saved mind is a mind that is full of faith THAT ACTS upon that faith.

Question: Is renewing your mind a priority in your walk with Christ?  What do you do to accomplish this?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Power of God

 

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