Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 22, 2016
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 1 Timothy 1:5
Just as God created the body with the need for exercise and rest to stay healthy— He created the soul with the need for a faith that exercises and rests to grow healthier. There is a striking difference between the body and soul: the physical grows weaker as the body ages, but the spiritual grows stronger as the soul grows older in grace and love. Outwardly there is decay, but inwardly there is daily renewal. Genuine faith does not get saved and stop growing—it trusts Christ’s work on the cross to work out our faith as we bear our cross through trials and tests.
Paul describes the end goal of every disciple of Jesus: the fullness of love for God and people. The Holy Spirit’s fruit of love grows out of a clear conscience—forgiven of sin and a pure heart—cleansed of impure affections. Both forgiveness and cleansing are rooted in genuine faith. Authentic faith is the blending of belief and trust—belief that Jesus is God’s son, who died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead to validate His deity. Trust in Christ alone for eternal life in heaven and for abundant life on earth. Faith facilitates the Spirit’s life giving work.
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11).
Do you feel a headwind of resistance in your life? Is your faith being tested, perhaps stretched beyond what’s comfortable? Seasons of uncertainty and times of spiritual fatigue are windows to watch the Spirit at work in ways that stimulate your faith by God’s faithfulness in your life. There is a deeper place the Holy Spirit wants to take you—a place where your soul is at peace, your spirit is comforted, your mind is renewed and your body is rested. Like an athlete who discovers another depth of desire to compete, so the Spirit draws your faith into deeper intimacy.
Love is the ultimate outcome of a faith that throbs with Christ’s purpose, a pure heart and a clear conscience. When offended—love quickly forgives. When tempted—love turns and walks away. When hurt—love administers healing grace. When aware of a need—love generously complies. When sorrowful—love finds comfort in the man of sorrows. When unsure—love looks for wisdom from above. When speechless in prayer—love defers to the Spirit’s solicitations. A life of love is always on the lookout to bless others in Jesus’ name. Exercised faith perspires love!
“For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love” (Galatians 5:6).
PrayerHeavenly Father, exercise my faith into a genuine expression of Your love through me.
ApplicationWho needs me to love them expecting nothing in return?
Related ReadingProverbs 16:3; Isaiah 40:31; John 14:26; Colossians 2:7; 2 Peter 1:5
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