2008-09-16 - Labor
Originally Published 2008-09-02
1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
As I write this, it is Labor Day, where to honor hard work, the government makes employers give us time off for good behavior - or something like that, anyhow. Therefore, I wanted to write something about labor, and I did a word search. I was thinking about the more common ones, with phrases like "labor in vain” and "come to me all who labor," but this verse spoke to me, as I read by it.
It is part of a Paul's opening, in his letter to the church at Thessalonica. It appears to be Paul once again encouraging a church, by praying for them and bragging on their efforts. However, the two phrases that grabbed my attention were "labor of love" and "work of faith." These two phrases sum up all that we as Christians do while here on Earth. Our faith produces works, and the love God has for us spills out as demonstrations of love to others.
Adam Clarke, in his commentary, had this to say about the verse:
"This verse contains a very high character of the believers at Thessalonica. They had Faith, not speculative and indolent, but true, sound, and operative; their faith worked. They had Love, not that gazed at and became enamoured of the perfections of God, but such a love as labored with faith to fulfill the whole will of God. Faith worked; but love, because it can do more, did more, and therefore labored - worked energetically, to promote the glory of God and the salvation of men."
Can we say that our love labors, or that our faith works? Would others use these words to describe us? Most importantly, does God see actions in our life stemming from love and faith?
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted