When it comes to the life you are currently living . . . when all is said and done . . . what would you like said about all you have done? If you have not considered this question, I encourage you to consider the greeting that the apostle Paul gave to the Christians at Thessalonica:
We continually 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. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
WOW! What a confession of a life well lived coram Deo—before the face of God—for the glory of God and for the good of others!
So . . . what would those who know you best say about the life you are currently living? Would it be anything like the lives described in the verse above? Let’s take a closer look.
- Your work produced by faith . . . When it comes to our work, there are only two options: work that is produced by faith or work that is faithless. In other words, we can either work in our own strength to accomplish our own goals to receive our own glory. Or we can work in the strength of our Savior to accomplish His goals for His glory. How would you describe the work you’ve preformed this day?
- Your labor prompted by love . . . All of our labors are prompted by love—either the love of self or the love of the Savior. We either work for the applause of man or the applause of our Master. And if we are working to receive the approval of men, we are not serving our Savior (Galatians 1:10). When the love of Christ compels us, our labor is prompted by and produced in a vertical love for God and a horizontal love for others . . . all others.
- Your endurance inspired by hope in Jesus . . . You’ve probably heard it said that the race of life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. It is a race that requires endurance, and the only kind of endurance that will carry us through to the finish line is inspired by hope in the only One who will never fail us: Jesus! In an exhausted world, Jesus has given us His inexhaustible hope that never fails, even when things seem absolutely hopeless.
So now I’d encourage you to prayerfully consider the answer to the question I asked you at the beginning of this article. Because you still have breath, you still have time to change the course and direction your life is currently going in. You are more than you have become! The key to change is to see yourself as God sees you. When Jesus met Simon, the brother of Andrew, He changed his name to Peter (meaning the Rock). Jesus saw Simon—not as he was, but as he was going to be. Jesus sees you the very same way today.
Remember, the same power that raised Jesus from death to life is the same power that is at work within you (See Romans 8:11 and Ephesians 1:18-20). And He who began that good work in you has promised to complete it (Philippians 1:6). You need only work by faith, labor by love, and endure by hope in the One who died for you so that you could live for Him.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!