We’re in the midst of a series… here’s a little intro to what we’ve been looking at…
In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes to them that “we continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, you labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” and a little later… “but since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
This triad of faith, love, and hope reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13 and how Paul ends the chapter there, defining for us those eternal characters. And here we read that they have an outward effect or expression: faith that produces work; love prompts labor; hope inspires endurance. And then we see that these three are things we must choose to bring into our lives, putting them on as armor so that we don’t lose control and slip into living as those in darkness.
I would like to think we find ourselves fitting in the first part. I could say Amen to those statements. But it’s at the end of the book that Paul calls them back to these three things when he distinguishes lives of darkness and of light. The need to remain in faith, love, and hope is still key if their testimony is to continue. My need is no different. I thank God for what has been, what he has done, but I must allow him to keep doing that work – I must put these three around me in order to remain…
Over these months, in and around our holiday celebrations and this new year, we are going to return to these themes often. And I would like your help! Join with me in LOOKING FOR STORIES! Do you know a story of:
Work produced by faith,
Labor prompted by love, or
Endurance inspired by hope?
It could be something current you have heard, or seen, or heard about, or something from history that captures one of those ideas. Remember them. Watch for them. Look for them. And if you have such a story, come talk to me one of these days or jot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll take time to connect these stories with the study we do. Thanks for participating!
When we finish the series, I’ll be posting a page of links to the people and groups whose stories we’ve heard. Keep watching and enjoy the study. My prayer in this time is that we will enter the story of what God is working out in our lives.