We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
What traits would you like your family and friends to remember you by? Would you like to be remembered for your good works or accomplishments at home, school, or workplace? Would you like others to know you as someone who has endured challenges and didn’t give up? Can your loved ones say that your labor comes from love rather than obligation?
Paul remembered the Thessalonian church for their work, labor, and endurance. He wrote them a letter, expressing his gratitude for them (1:2). What can we learn from this?
First, faith produces our good works. We look back to what God has done, and in response, we live out our faith with gratitude through our good works. Nothing we do, not even our “good works” can save us, but we’ve been justified by faith, which is made complete by our good works (Rom. 5:1; Jas. 2:24).
Jesus promised us that He’ll return. So now, we have a hope that inspires our endurance. Knowing the finish line is just ahead, we’ll want to keep going. Paul himself exemplified this hope and endurance in his ministry up until the end of his life (2 Tm. 4:7).
Finally, God’s love motivates our labor. Simply put, we continue doing what we do because God loves us. God teaches us to love one another in response (4:9). We are to reflect God’s love for us in loving our family, friends, and even enemies. May we labor out of God’s love.
May we bear fruit out of faith, hope, and love. If you find yourself in a dry season, pray for God to increase your faith, and open your eyes to hope in Christ and to see our Father’s love for us, so that we love others too. Pray for God to help you put on the armor of God and defeat the schemes of the Enemy, whose aim is for you to turn your face away from Christ. (5:8)
Revisiting the question of how you’d like to be remembered, let’s rephrase the question to this: How would you like to present yourself to God when you meet him? (Col. 1:22-23, Matt. 25:21).