Good Monday morning to you! And welcome to Day 7 of our Countdown.
I promised that we would be looking at what Paul teaches us through his letter to the church in Thessalonica about how to live out our faith in trying times. We spent last week laying the ground work so I hope to move forward with some of the practical ways we can apply these truths to our life in 2020.
Today our passage is short:
We continually recall before God our Father the things you have done because of your faith and the work you have done because of your love. And we thank him that you continue to be strong because of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 1:3
I see three characteristics here that mark our Christ-following:
Faith that acts/does
Love that works/produces results
Strength grounded in hope
Eugene Peterson in The Message phrases it: your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master.
Our faith is active. It involves plenty of hard work and large doses of patience.
You know I am a strong advocate for followers of Christ to set aside time to learn and grow in knowledge by studying God’s word. I urge you often to have a private time each day where you take in Scripture, meditate on it, pray and seek God’s guidance for how to apply.
But then you need to get up from the table, put the books away and LIVE IT OUT.
Most days it is a struggle to continue to keep my eyes on the things I knew so well at 6 A.M. sitting with a nice cup of coffee and watching the birds gathering around the feeder out back. As I read and take notes and pray, I am filled with hope for the day.
Then I get up and face the reality of a To Do list for maintaining our home, serving my family, dealing with people who think very differently from me out in the arena of the real world and it is only by continuing to activate my faith, laboring out of my love for God and His love for all people, and the hope that I have in Christ that I walk faithfully step by step, day by day, year by year.
I mess up, but He has given me the steps to repentance.
I forget, but He has given me His Spirit to remind me.
I lose my focus, but I can stop at any moment and cry out to Him and He helps me gain my footing again.
When I am hurt, I can turn it over to Him.
When I am afraid, I can recall that He has told me I have not a spirit of fear.
When I grow weary, He reminds me that Jesus did as well when He walked in my skin and I can draw away and be refreshed in the same Father I share with my Savior.
This is how I apply the words here, would love to know how you do this.
Have a blessed day <3