May 10
‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’1 Corinthians 13:13
Bible reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (Go to the Bible passage)
In this letter by the apostle Paul, we read about the true characteristics of a living community of Jesus Christ. We read about ‘work produced by faith’ (:3), which is surely not referring to ‘church work’ but rather to daily life.
‘There are those,’ says Paul, ‘who claim they know God, but by their actions they deny Him’ (Titus 1:16). Likewise, here the emphasis is not placed on the work itself, but rather on the faith and way of thinking from which this work flows. We might translate it literally as: active faith. It is obvious that this is something very different from ‘verbal faith’.
Then mention is made of ‘labor prompted by love’ (:3). If - by God’s Spirit - we receive unselfish love, there will be a great compassion for souls. Then we will learn what it means to pray and fast for our fellow human beings, so that they too will be delivered from this ‘warped and crooked generation’ (Philippians 2:15) as the Bible calls it.
The word ‘labor’, that is used here, also means: tiresome exertion, hard work. This kind of labor is the result of the divine love that He pours out in our hearts. How captivating is life with Him!
‘Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ’ (:3). Whoever has genuinely bowed down for king Jesus, persists in looking forward to the moment that He will come back to earth.
Faith, hope, and love are the mighty sources of power disclosed in every person who - enthralled by Jesus - resolutely turns his back upon building on anything in this world, and decides to risk all with Jesus, and so serve the only true God!

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