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Monday, October 5, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jelly!

I sat down at my computer yesterday to send in our monthly offerings to two different ministries that have literally changed our lives over the years.  When I inputted our personal information I had to stop and smile as I looked at what I had typed: “Jim & Piper Berruto.” You know… it just looked good to see those two names together.  Over the last few years, under the advice of our lawyer, we have put just about everything we have into my name alone and have drawn up a trust that protects and guarantees the rightful and protective care for Piper in case something happens to me.
So almost all the correspondence we get including the bills, special offers and most advertisements are simple addressed to me.  When something comes in with Piper’s name on it, it always catches my immediate attention and action.  When I looked at our names together yesterday it reminded me of how our two names just always seemed to go together like peanut butter and jelly!  You just can’t have one without the other!
That idea jumped out to me again this morning as I read from Ephesians 1:15.  Here Paul tells his readers that “I, too, have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.  For this reason I never stop thanking God for you.  I always remember you in my prayers.” (God’s Word ©)  His comment reminded me that the thing that caught his attention with this church was what he had heard about their active stands of faith and actions of Godly love toward others.
He seemed to be making the point that faith and love go together like peanut butter and jelly… or like Jim & Piper Berruto!  We personally experienced the reactions of some who demonstrated little faith for my wife’s healing and therefore had little drive or power to perform acts of love toward us.  And on the other side of the coin, we have seen others who may not have been considered as mature in the Lord as the first group but yet have faith for Piper and thereby no difficulty stepping out of their normal comfort zones to reach out in love to be at her side in her time of need.
The scriptures tell us that “Faith expresses itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6 God’s Word ©)  My experience suggests that love is always the inevitable response of a strong faith in God and His Word.”  The King James Version says that faith works by love.  And I think you could reverse that statement and it would still prove true saying that love also works by faith… or you could say that love is motivated or empowered by our faith in the Lord and the truth and expectations of His Word working in, for and through us unto others.
So… just like that peanut butter and jelly sandwich that might be in your lunch (or breakfast…) today, do you find yourself carrying the twins of FAITH and LOVE with you everywhere you go?  Give it a try… It might just be the newest, most tantalizing and tasty treat that you can give to someone in need today!  Have a great week.  Stay in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… What kind of peanut butter and jelly combination of FAITH and LOVE am I expecting to share with others today?”

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