We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually 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. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
I Thessalonians 1:2-3, 7-8
Christianity is more than a belief system; it is a way of life. It is more than a way of life; it is a tour of duty. When we became a Christian, we enlisted in the service of Jesus Christ. There is a spiritual battle in the world. Poverty, injustice, abuse, and hatred are all part of the human condition going on around us. Depression, divorce, drug abuse, psychosomatic disease is all part of the world we live in and God has created us to be His ambassadors of love. You and I have a purpose beyond mere existence. We are disciples of Jesus Christ. No one knew this better than the church in Thessalonica. Paul was blown away by their seriousness and dedication. He thanked God for their faith, love and hope and committed himself to pray for them. But it wasn’t what we would consider “faith, love and hope.” Listen to what Paul wrote. He said, “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope.” When is the last time we did something because of faith in a mighty working God? When did we labor in love? When have we had to endure hanging on to nothing else but hope? That is what it is to serve Jesus. You take the responsibility seriously. You involve yourself in the life of others. You step out, way over your head and know that only faith in God can get results. You take on situations that try your love beyond reason. It is hard, hard work. And when nothing else seems to be working, God comes through and you are inspired to get up and do it all again because there is hope. There is a hurting world. We have the answer. May we follow the example of the Thessalonians.
Lord, give me faith to live for You today. Help me love today the way You want me to. Fill my heart with hope so it spills over onto everyone I come in contact with. Lead me on, dear Jesus ~Amen.