We always thank God for all of you. 1 Thessalonians 1:2
For ten years, my Aunt Kathy cared for her father (my grandfather) in her home. She cooked and cleaned for him when he was independent, and then took on the role of nurse when his health declined.
Her service is one modern example of the words of Paul who wrote to the Thessalonians that he thanked God for “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
Be encouraged as you do the work God has called you to do.
My aunt served in faith and love. Her daily, consistent care was the result of her belief that God called her to this important work. Her labor was borne out of love for God and her father.
She also endured in hope. My grandfather was a very kind man, but it was difficult to watch him decline. She gave up time with family and friends, and limited travel to care for him. She was able to endure because of the hope that God would strengthen her each day, along with the hope of heaven that awaited my grandfather.
Whether it is caring for a relative, helping a neighbor, or volunteering your time, be encouraged as you do the work God has called you to do. Your labor can be a powerful testimony of faith, hope, and love.
Lord, may I this day have eyes to see others’ needs, direction from You on any ways I might help, and the Spirit’s power to obey. May I live out the faith, love, and hope You’ve given to me.
The glory of life is to love, not to be loved; to give, not to get; to serve, not to be served.
The Thessalonian church was a “model” church known for her “faith in God” (1 Thessalonians 1:7–8). The church was commended for her “faithful work, [her] loving deeds, and . . . enduring hope” (v. 3 nlt). This trilogy of faith, love, and hope is a mark of spiritual growth and maturity. The work God has called us to do is characterized by our love for God and our neighbor (Luke 10:27). To love is hard work, for it is something we have to learn to do. And we “have been taught by God to love each other” (1 Thessalonians 4:9). Paul aptly calls it a “labor of love” (1:3 esv, emphasis added). Highlighting Christ’s second coming at the end of each chapter (1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23), Paul speaks of our “endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3). Speaking of this trilogy of “faith, love, and hope” elsewhere, Paul says, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13nlt).
Is your life characterized by faithful work, loving deeds, and enduring hope?
K. T. Sim