THREE ACTION WORDS
1 THESSALONIANS 1:2-3 NKJ
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 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,
Paul was writing to the church he helped to start in the City of Thessalonica. The city was a chief seaport of ancient Macedonia and an important commercial and military center.
In his letter, we can see Paul's heart for the believers in this young church. And he references those important things in the church. Their faith, hope, and love.
In these two verses, Paul is praying for the church and remembering these three important things.
First, Paul mentions their work of faith. This word, work, is the same word James used when he talked about faith without works is dead. So we see again that faith has an action to it. What these Thessalonians believed was tangible in their lives. They had turned from idols to serve the true living God, and their faith in God was visible to all in that area.
Paul then mentions their labor of love. We use that term today. I have heard relatives say that cooking a big meal for the holidays was a labor of love. So they were serving and blessing others as a result of their love for God and love for one another. Love has a give to it. The "give" is not always money. It can be time and effort or help, but all of these things require a type of giving.
The last thing Paul mentioned was their patience or perseverance of hope. Biblical hope is a favorable expectation, not a wish or desire. So, because they were expecting something good, they did not quit. They had a hope of God's salvation and help, so they kept on keeping on. When we believe we will see the goodness of the Lord, we don't lose heart and give up. (Psalm 27:19)
Faith, hope, and love are spiritual forces, not philosophical positions. And these three important products of the heart are action-inducing.
Because we believe we act. Our faith shows up in our words and actions. Because we love, we give and serve others. And love is the highest motivation for serving God and His kingdom. Because we believe something good is going to happen to us, we keep expecting and keep persevering with our life with God and staying committed to Him. Action words with eternal consequences.
Dear Father, may I live a life where others can see my faith, hope, and love. As I do that, they'll see more of Jesus, and You will be glorified.