Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father… —1 Thessalonians 1: 3
Paul commended the Thessalonians for a few things. First of all, he talks about their work of faith. They didn't work out of a sense of obligation or fear, but as a response to the love and grace of God. Good works should be a manifestation of our faith.
Next he notes their labor of love. Love, I believe, is the strongest motivator in the world. Nothing inspires a man like love. The labor of love is never a burden. It is always a joy. How important that the love of Christ so fills our hearts that it motivates us in our service for Him.
May we be known by the love of Jesus in us.
The third characteristic that marked this church was the patience of hope—the hope of Jesus' return. Hope, as Paul pointed out in Romans 8: 24, is not something we see—it is something we anticipate with pleasure. It is something we believe and rely on.
How are you doing in these three areas? Are you accomplishing the works of faith? Are you laboring in love for your Savior? And are you resting in the hope of His soon return? May we be known by these traits. May we be known for the love of Jesus Christ working in our hearts—love for Him, for His Word, for one another, and for the lost world in which we live.
Father, thank You for the faith You give and for the privilege of laboring for You. We wait for that day when Your will is done here on this earth even as it is done in heaven.
In Jesus' name, amen.