Continuation of What Does it Mean to be a Christian?
God is Grander than we Imagine.† God is beyond adequate description, but our inadequate words say this:† The Father is the immutable Law that defines what is and how it behaves.† The Spirit of Truth is what investigates, tests, knows.† Jesus is the love that binds what is and what knows into a coherent whole.† Together these eternal essences are God, but as Christians we know that we discover the Father only through Love; that is, through Jesus.† Like the disciples, we may be privileged to experience that Love through human hands, but let us remember that Love is of God.
Testing Our Faith.† In the spirit of James, the brother of Jesus, I suggest that each of us test our own actions to see if they follow Jesusí teachings.† How much of our time and income do we devote to the things of God: feeding the poor, comforting prisoners, establishing justice in the courts and, of course, teaching the gospel?† How much of that is, as in the case of supporting our local church, largely for our own convenience?† How much is for our own indulgence, as when we sit back and expect sermons to cheer us up?† As measured by the intensity of the effort we put in, how sincere is our effort?†
I ask these questions because I know an elderly woman who claims to be an agnostic.† Yet she has worked tirelessly, over a lifetime, for the dignity, security and well-being of others.† She used to give about 5 percent of her income to help the poor and powerless.† Now, in old age, she has raised that amount, first to 10 percent and now to 20.† Much of her help has been given in person, one-on-one.† But now that she cannot get out to do the work in person, she reads each appeal for her funds with hawklike focus, trying to make sure that organizations are delivering their aid effectively.† Whatever I might want to believe about my own faithfulness to God, I think she is a better Christian than I will ever be.† After all, she is cheerfully doing her good deeds in the expectation of receiving no reward at all.†† What greater faith in the eternal things of God could there be?†
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