When you first turn on a hybrid, electric car, nothing happens. You must put the car in gear to go some place before it reveals its potential. Similarly, to reach our potential and reveal the power of God throughout our life and throughout Creation, our faith in Jesus must express itself through love.
On my recent trip, I rented a car. It was a hybrid—powered by both gas and electric.
I pushed the button to turn it on. Nothing happened.
I sat there, trying to figure out what was wrong.
Then I remembered my previous experiences with hybrid electric cars. They are silent until you put them in gear to go.
Sure enough. I shifted into reverse. My car started backing up.
When I started driving forward, my car came “fully alive”. It made noise. Its equipment started working, including its blinkers, headlights, and radio.
I thought about how faith in Jesus is like my rental car.
Without the power—the electricity—turned on, the car can do nothing.
As Jesus said: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
Without actually using the car, it appears that the car is dead. Powerless.
As James the brother of Jesus wrote: “Faith without works dead.” (James 2:26 KJV).
It doesn’t matter how much potential our car—our lives—have:
—the potential for fast acceleration;
—the potential for safe, smooth handling;
—the potential for playing music that we and others can enjoy;
—the potential to carry us and others to places of joy; and
—the potential to carry us and others to our Promised Lands—the “places” where we are a blessing to all peoples.
We can only reach our potential by using the power that comes from faith in Jesus Christ.
We can only reach our potential if our faith is alive because it compels us to do good works.
What good works?
Good Works of Light overcoming Darkness so that all Creation, including the Earth, plants, animals and people, become good, they become very good. (John 1:1-5,9; Genesis 1:31).
Good Works of compassion and graciousness, slowing our anger, while abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to multitudes, and limiting bad consequences from bad choices, as much as feasible. (Exodus 34:6-7).
Good Works of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23).
Therefore, to reach our potential and reveal the power of God throughout our life and throughout Creation, our faith in Jesus must express itself through love.
We must do for others what we would like them to do for us. (Matthew 7:12).
As Paul wrote: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6).
QUESTIONS TO ASK
When did you first feel the power of Jesus in your life? How? Why?
Are you achieving your potential? How? Why?
How does your faith in Jesus express itself through love? Throughout your life? Throughout Creation?