Do you have a thankful heart? Do people know you as a thankful person? Paul was just such a person. He was thankful for how God was working in believers’ lives, and oftentimes he expressed that thanks to them in his letters. In First Thessalonians 1, Paul mentions three reasons for giving thanks to God for the believers in Thessalonica: faith, hope, and love. “We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers. 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 CSB).
He was thankful for their work produced by faith. Doesn’t this sound like James that faith without works is dead. Paul was thankful that their faith was producing. They didn’t have a dead faith or just a said faith. They had a faith that acted. They had a real, living faith that worked.
Paul was also thankful for their labor motivated by love. People have all kinds of motivations for their labor. Some labor from the motivation of money or fear or guilt, but the Thessalonians’ labor was motivated by the supreme motive—love. They weren’t laboring to avoid conflict or negative emotions. They weren’t laboring selfishly for what they could get out of it. They labored because of love.
Lastly, he was thankful for their endurance inspired by hope. Hope will keep you hanging on when your strength is stripped away and your will has withered. Hope endures.
These three—faith, hope, and love—were not conjured characteristics. These people were changed characters. Jesus had radically saved them, and faith hope, and love were the results of the change. How prominent are these three in your life?
This week you’ll read…
Psalm 145-150: “Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness. Praise Him with trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and flute. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah!” (Psalm 150 CSB)
Jeremiah 15-28: “‘The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? I, the Lord, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17 CSB).
Lamentations 3-4: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3 NIV).
1 Thessalonians 1: “We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers. 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 CSB).
- October 8 (Tues):
- October 9 (Wed):
- October 10 (Thurs):
- October 11 (Fri):
- October 12 (Sat):
- October 13 (Sun):
- October 14 (Mon):
MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.
CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.
NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.