For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6
The bible is a book about love. It is really a love story about a God who loved his people, so much so that through faith He expressed that love. As His people, we are expected to do the same thing, first to love God and second to love each other (Matthew 22:37-40). Christ came to earth as a result of God’s love for us, and helped us to truly see what the bible has been trying to say all along. Yet, over the centuries, we have been moving further and further away from love, and ultimately, away from faith. You see, faith tells us to take action, and love tells us what that action is. Therefore, faith and love must work together, the yin and yang of our hearts. Can you truly say then, that you love, when you have no faith?
If you work downtown, like me, you see homeless people every day. In fact, you begin to know them because each person seem to mark their territory. During Covid-19, I started driving to work. The moment I get out of my car, I see two men who are homeless sitting on a bench. The first time, my heart prompted me to give them what I carried for breakfast, a yogurt. The second time, I gave an orange that was already peeled and cut. I don’t do this all the time mind you, but for those brief moments I did. My encounters reminds me of when Peter and John healed another man who was homeless in Acts 3:1-6.
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”Acts 3:1-6
READ MORE: Faith and love equals righteousness
Peter could not just walk pass this man because love told Peter to help the man, and faith gave him the ability to heal. It’s that simple, although when we are faced with our own personal encounters, we have so many thoughts. Faced with uncertainty or too many options, we close ourselves from doing good, because we begin to question faith. Using our logic to reason our way out, or feeling overwhelmed that if we give, we might not have enough for ourselves. It’s not really selfish, but it’s self preservation. It’s “fleshy” (and natural) to do this. And of course, it lacks faith. When you are moved by love, you will know what to do. This is the reason, Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.” Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has value, because the reason you do it, which is love, is what is important. Whatever action one is going to take (in faith), that action requires the express of love. This was the reason why James stated, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? ” James 2: 14-15. James further expand on his rhetorical question, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:16. The answer James then gives is this: “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” James 2:17.
READ MORE: For law or for relationship
Every great relationship requires love. We know this. God knew that He had to sacrifice Himself (through Christ) because He loves us too much to see us die in our sins. Yet, we fail God every time. We love ourselves more than we love God and our neighbours. We choose not to feed the homeless because we need to eat. They should have made better choices with their lives. Yet, this wasn’t what the little boy chose when he gave away his loaves and fishes to Jesus (See John 6:9). Of all the people in the crowd, do you really think it was one person who was smart enough to pack his lunch (alone)? No, I think his parents were probably there too, and they also had their lunch. They probably told their son to be quiet and let the adults figure out the problem themselves (maybe they could get extra for dinner later). But, you know how children are…they are not thinking about the future (or about anything). So, the boy gave away his lunch. And Jesus used it as a lesson. The greatest lesson was this: Jesus did not want to send away the people hungry. He loved them and cared for them. And His faith moved him to feed all 5000+ people. It was another opportunity for miracle. That is the ability we all have in us. We can move mountains by faith too.
…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.Matthew 17:20
Why then do we not give so freely? God expects us to give what we have, not what we don’t have. Believe that the little you have is sufficient to help yourself, those in your care, and whomever your neighbours are that day. Therefore, do not get caught up trying to expound the law, and stuck in our heads figuring things out. Be moved by love, and put love into action. You are going to be surprised at what miracles you are capable of doing. Are you excited that you can become the miracle that someone else needs? I have never lacked something, because I gave too much. So, remove your doubts, and unbeliefs; and replace it with faith. Put faith in action, and express it through love.