Not too long ago I was studying the first chapter out of 1 Thessalonians. If you haven’t read it recently, take the time to read the 10 verses that are there. They are super powerful and have a lot of content built into just those 10 verses. The Gospel is all over the place, the truth is clear, and it’s a great encouragement for the church.
There was a verse out of there that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind and I think it gives much more depth to the typical “Faith, Hope, and Love” we normally think of. Sometimes we see those words written on wood, placed on a wall. Sometimes we see those words in the form of a tattoo. Sometimes we even use those words with others, but do we really know what they mean and why they are so important?
“We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (CSB)
Paul was encouraging the church, thanking God for them, hearing of how they are speaking the Word and not much else to others, and how they have become an example to everyone around them.
As Christians, we are called to live the same way. We are to know the Word of God and speak that and not much else to others. We are called to be an example to everyone around us because people are watching. We are called to do all of this because of what Jesus has done for us (1 John 4:19).
So as you remember who you are in Christ, do you walk in these 3 ways?
1. Work Produced By Faith
Is your work produced by faith? Does faith really have an aspect in the work you are doing for The Lord? It’s a daily struggle for me and it’s hard to live in a way that requires faith in The Lord to come through. All too often I find myself working in a way where “I can be the one” to produce results, not God.
We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Is your work produced by faith or yourself?
2. Labor Motivated By Love
Is your labor motivated by love? When you are working hard for The Lord are you just trying to get things done? I know for me I have been so busy doing “my God tasks” that I can miss someone literally in front of me and miss out on what God wanted me to do in that moment.
In everything we do, we work for the Lord and need to remember that (Colossians 3:23-24). It’s a difficult thing to do and think about and requires you to stop what you are doing now to take a breath, but, is what you do for God truly motivated by love or something else?
3. Endurance Inspired By Hope
Is your endurance inspired by hope? Do you feel like giving up at times? As Christians, we need endurance. It’s hard to follow Jesus, relationships are messy, we are still sinful living in a sinful world, and sometimes it feels easier to just give up. The beautiful thing about this is that we can truly keep going when we are inspired by HOPE in the Gospel. Chances are you need to be reminded of the Gospel today. Maybe somewhere along the way you’ve found yourself wiped out and spent, exhausted, and honestly at times have lost hope in the promises of God.
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20
Everything mentioned above is found in Jesus. Be reminded today that the Son of God really did come to this earth. He lived a perfect and sinless life. He died on the cross and paid the penalty for your sins. All of them. Past, present, and future sins. And then He rose from the grave at which point defeated death and sin in Victory. It really did happen. It really is true. It really is Good News.
And now if you believe in Jesus Christ and confess He is Lord over your life, you are saved and the Holy Spirit is the seal put on you affirming this. God doesn’t want you to walk in confusion but He has chosen you. Believe it. Walk in confidence and courage today.
Let your work be produced by faith in Jesus. Let your labor be motivated by love in Jesus. Let your endurance be inspired by hope in Jesus.