Thessalonians 1: 3-10 – “3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
Today, during a time of worship, I realized how much I have grown. Usually I sing those victory songs and I envision handing my battles to the Lord and his promise of overcoming. Today, I am still surrounded by some big issues, yet I could not name a single one during worship – I was overwhelmed with love and the knowledge of God’s love for me. Those promised victories are NOT because God is a fighting God. No. God is a loving God who sometimes has to fight for me because he loves me. This is an important moment in my relationship with Christ! This should be remembered.
So, back to studying grace, which leads to faith, and leads to obedience, and leads to today’s passage: work produced by faith. I look at the whole passage and never an isolated verse to be sure I am not taking it out of context. I read my verses and passages first really thinking about them. I pray that God would speak to me through it, since it is his word. And today I had a handful of verses to review and here I am just reading and rereading this passage, not just the verse. There is so much in this – good things that should be thought on deeply. Let me read it again with some thoughts:
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,” Dear God and Father, I pray, someday I too will be remembered for my faith, love and hope. Thank you for my faith producing the work of me digging in deeper into the word to learn faith. As I wrote all these things in my journal, thank you for the prompting to just type it here instead. Thank you Lord, for growing me!
“your labor prompted by love,” Prompted? I think back to the beginning – Heavenly Father, you first loved me (1 John 4:19) and it prompted me to come to you. Thank you for such love. Then when I arrived and did not see my loved ones beside me and it was love that prompted me to intercede on their behalf. And now I write my Bible studies and prayers out on a public forum because you told me to be obedient just in case someone you also love stumbles upon this is you want to use it to show your love and grace to another. All so prompted and rooted in love!
Your word says to “Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV) I think it’s because love prompts us to labor and be obedient to the will of God that we can do everything in love!
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
I read and reread that verse. God’s love is a lot to wrap my head around – but I am trying.
Love is a work produced by faith (among many more).
Thank you for reading. I pray by grace through faith you and I both become Godly love:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV