1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 NIV
“Paul, Silas and Timothy,
“To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Grace and peace to you.
“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 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.”
The Church Today
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this were the picture of today’s church here in America or in any nation where it isn’t now the norm? Wouldn’t it be great to write such letters to the body of Christ instead of having to write letters of warning, and of rebuke, with calls for repentance and obedience to God?
In America, this is not the norm, sad to say. There are a few to whom this could be written, but they are in the minority. The vast majority, instead, have gone the way of the world and are following man instead of God, and they are living for self-pleasure, instead of for the glory and praise of God.
But this is the model we should all be following. This is what a Christian life should look like. This shouldn’t be regarded as odd, weird, or out of touch with reality. Those who live by this should not be the ones who are being cast aside and regarded as dinosaurs, but they are.
Your Work Produced by Faith
Too many people today are teaching that we don’t “work.” We do nothing and God does it all. And they think that Paul taught against all works, but he didn’t. He taught that we are to abound in every good work, and that we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
Paul taught that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works, that we are to bear fruit in every good work, that we are to produce works of faith by the power of God, that we are to be ready for every good work, and that we are to be zealous for good works.
So, Paul definitely taught works of the Spirit as part of believing faith. But he did teach against works of the flesh. And he taught we would be judged by our works, too (Rom 2:1-11; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:19-24; Eph 2:8-10; Phil 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Th 1:11-12; 2 Tim 2:21; Tit 2:11-14).
Your Labor Prompted by Love
Jesus said that to love him is to obey him. If we don’t obey him, we don’t love him. And he said that if we keep his commandments that we will abide in his love. As well, he said that other people will know we are the Lord’s disciples by our love for one another; by what we do.
Jesus also said that we are to love our enemies. And we do that by praying for those who mistreat us, by doing good to those who hate us, and by blessing those who curse us. And to bless is to say to, wish for, or to do for others what will be helpful, beneficial, and for their wellbeing.
And John said that we love the children of God when we love God and we obey his commandments. He also said that we are not to love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. And he said that whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
[Matt 5:43-44; Lu 6:27-28; Lu 10:27; Jn 13:34-35; Jn 14:15, 21, 23-24; Jn 15:10-12; 1 Jn 3:10, 18; 1 Jn 4:19-20; 1 Jn 5:2-3]
Your Endurance Inspired by Hope
The Scriptures have much to say about endurance in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ. For one, we are taught that we are to rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. And we are to count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds, for we know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. And this leads to maturity in Christ.
Also, it is for discipline that we endure. For, God disciplines us for our good, so that we may share his holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
And when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we are to endure it. We are to endure all persecutions, hardships, trials, and tribulations, etc. And if we endure (persist, continue, persevere) in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ in this life, and we don’t disown our Lord, we will reign with him.
[Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Co 4:12; 2 Tim 2:12; 2 Tim 3:11]
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.