We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—
God has been teaching me a lot lately about tangible faith. Faith that you can see. Faith that reaches out and touches those around you. I'm not talking about whitewashed pharisee faith, I'm talking about New Testament faith. What's the difference? One is self centered, showing others how good you are, the other is Christ centered and focused on showing His love to everyone you come in contact with. One is based on glorifying yourself, the other is based on glorifying God.
There are several mentions of this New Testament faith in the Bible. Those Scriptures have been helping me to get a better picture of what kind of faith God wants us to have - faith that He considers pure (James 1:27). One such example is in Acts:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.Now that is visible, tangible faith! But this wasn't the only New Testament church that lived like this. They were everywhere. In the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians, he told them that he had HEARD of their faith and love for ALL the saints. I can't imagine that he means anything other then what was spoken of in Acts. But do you know of any churches that have faith and love like that today?
I know a lot of churches where people are very friendly on Sunday morning, and even during weekly planned activities, but none where they extend that same friendliness during the week with random acts of kindness. Very few people call just to see how their church family is doing, and even fewer call more then their selected social group.
So if someone reported on you or your churches faith and love, what would they say? Would they speak of your love for ALL the saints, or would they say that you had an awesome worship service and gave lots of money to missionaries? Which would you rather that they said? Do you have work to do? I sure do.