Advent Devotional – Monday, November 28, 2016 – Faith, Love, Hope
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We 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.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord‘s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. – I Thessalonians 1:1-10
The introduction that Paul gives to the Thessalonica Church is one of the most intimate that he gives in any of his letters. In verse 3, we see the ringing of the theme of faith, hope, and love that he uses in 1 Corinthians and many of his other letters. In verse 3 he spells out in detail that because of the work that God the Father has produced in us, by faith we now labor by love. The work that Christ does in our lives changes the way we see our fellow man, and because of the work that He produces in us, we work to show love to our fellow man. Many times when we labor in love, it becomes difficult and it is hard to see the positive results in an evil world, but the hope that is found in our Lord Jesus Christ produces an endurance to continue to do that which is produced by love.
This Advent season I trust this passage reminds you of the hope that you have in our Lord Jesus Christ as you wait and prepare to celebrate His coming at Christmas and that whatever would seem to overtake you, that through faith and love you can endure because of the hope that you have in our Lord Jesus Christ.