Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father (1 Thessalonians 1:3 KJV)
The Apostle Paul gives us a triple duo in the verse above— work and faith, labor and love, patience and hope. There is a close association between the terms in each pair. He associates work with faith, and then labor of service to others with love and finally patience with hope.
The work of faith is the good works of the Thessalonians. Good works are the works that God accomplishes in and through us. Do you remember Jesus saying in Matt. 5:16 that our light should shine that men might see our good works? Paul in Eph. 3:10 says we were created for good works. When we live for God and demonstrate His virtues to the world, including His love, grace, wisdom, power, etc, whether in our personal life or ministry, our faith is actively producing these works. It takes faith to produce the works of God. Faith is not limited to divine healing or some financial breakthrough. When it comes to making things happen in the kingdom, faith is what we need.
The connection between works and our faith is so close that our faith is easily seen through our actions. James says you can show someone your faith by showing them your works. The heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 were not put there because they trusted God in their hearts and depended on Him. No! Their names were recorded because of what they did through the power of God. Faith without works is dead. We do not need to look for a Goliath to kill to demonstrate our faith. We have anxiety, depression, fear etc bombarding our lives daily, right? It takes faith to live in joy, peace, and love. Rather than waiting to kill a lion as Samson with our bare hands to demonstrate our faith, we can start at home! We can start from bearing the fruit of love, joy, patience with people, kindness, righteousness, etc.!
The works of highest priority to God for us individually are our personal works, that is, our personal walk with the Lord bearing the fruit of the Spirit. But that is not all. There are also ministry works, that has to do with impacting other people through the gifts God has given to us.
Is your faith alive or dead? You only need to look at your works, and the answer will be apparent. Grow in faith!
We have discussed the first duo in the trio above! Why does God associate the labor of service with love and patience with hope?
APPLY THE WORD
We are not saved by works but unto good works. Our works matter to God. God is watching the fruit of the Spirit in your life, and what you are doing with the ministry He has given you. Grow in faith and abound in good works!
Ask the Lord to help you increase in good works and bring glory to His Name.
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