Real Faith Means Hard Work (Oct 9)

realfaith

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

October 9
Real Faith Means Hard Work

Today’s Scripture Readings Psalms 112:1-10 | Jeremiah 12:1-14:10 | 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:9 | Proverbs 24:30-34

Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Thessalonians 1:1 – 2:9

“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” (1 Corinthians 1:3 NIV).

Paul thanks God continually for the Thessalonian church. They are a church that is evidencing the supreme Christian virtues of “faith, hope and love.” Interestingly, they evidence those virtues through their work, labor and endurance.

First, their faith is evidenced by their hard work. Paul speaks of his own hard work, “Surely you remember brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preaching the gospel of God to you” (2:9) as an example to them. Here, he commends them for their hard work. Faith, real faith, shows itself by its actions. Faith, true faith, is willing to sacrifice and work hard for the sake of the kingdom. There’s a lot of work to be done in the church. I challenge you to be like these Christians who evidenced their faith through hard work.

Secondly, their love evidenced itself in their labor. If we really love God and each other, we will be willing to serve one another in love. Our love, just as our faith, will be evidenced by our labor. Love is shown not just by our words, but also by our works—by our willingness to serve and minister to one another.

Thirdly, their hope produced endurance in the midst of difficult times and persecution. It’s not easy to be a Christian. There is often a cost to follow Christ. Hope focuses our attention on the eternal perspective and enables us to press forward even in the midst of difficulties.

We’ve got a lot of work to do. There are billions who’ve not yet heard the gospel–Thousands within miles of most of us. Faith, hope and love are not theoretical virtues that we hold in our heart. They show themselves by working hard for the sake of the gospel—by our willingness to sacrifice all for the sake of our mission. We all have been gifted by God to be a part of the team. So let’s get to work.

Father, give me works produced by faith, labor prompted by love and endurance inspired by hope in Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

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About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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