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Works Without Love
James 2:20 tells us that faith without works is dead. My lesson from the Holy Spirit was a little different. Works without love is dead. Yes, duty and responsibility are important, but God wants to birth more of Himself in us. God is love and Jesus is the first born among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
I remember when my mother was dying. She had been sick for many years and I had been her support and help. I often said that anyone who didn’t know would think I beat her because you could just look at her and she would bruise. She had just come home from another stay in the hospital and her small, frail body was not any better for having been there. Did God send her home so I could be there with her at the end? Perhaps. I like to think He allowed her to leave this earth among her things and with someone she loved. I was sleeping on the floor in her room so I could be close when she needed me.
The years had taken their toll on both of us. Though not a harsh word was ever said, my inner turmoil was one of feeling burdened. How could I feel this way about the woman who bore me. One I loved so dearly? Satan will stir all these emotions within you and then make you feel guilty about them. He is not called the accuser of the brethren for nothing. Perhaps no one can really understand unless they have been a care-giver for someone.
I did not know this was the night my mother was going to die, but God knew. One time I was getting up to assist her, these feelings flooding through me. God spoke more clearly to my heart than I have ever heard Him. “If you don’t do it in love, it doesn’t mean anything.” My heart melted and love filled me for this woman who had always sought to ease my burdens. It was different after that. I was different after that — right up to the last time she called for me. I’m still not sure if it was my mother who woke me up or my Heavenly Father. Raising her up in my arms, I could see death on her face. I called “mother” three times seeking a response. Then after a deep exhale, her spirit left this realm. She died in my arms and in the arms of the God we both loved.
During her illness, God had allowed me to lead my mother to Him. I still have the Bible she marked up as she learned about Jesus. Because God had spoken to my heart, I did not have to live in the guilt and shame that Satan wanted to lay upon me. God is always there if we will just listen for Him.
It was our Lord Jesus who paved the way and set the example. It was not just that He suffered the cross for us. It was that He did it with love. Even as He died He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” The blood paid the price - the love redeemed. God so loved that He gave (John 3:16).
Glory to God in the highest - Who Was and Is and Is to come.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.