The What, Why and How of Godly Service
As believers, we all want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. In 1 Thessalonians, I believe we find a model to follow to help us hear those words in eternity. It has to do with What we do, Why we do it, and How we do it. Our genuine faith is revealed by these criteria.
1 Thessalonians 1:3
We 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.
Things to think about:
· Your work produced by Faith
o There must be an output to our faith
§ James 2:14-18 - What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
· Your labor prompted by Love
o Works without love are worthless
§ 1 Cor. 13:1-3 - If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
· Your endurance inspired by Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
o Finishing the race
§ James 1: 4 - Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
§ Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
o Inspired by Hope
§ 1 Peter 1:3 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Absent faith, love, and hope, we are reduced to empty words, heartless religion, or an incomplete journey.
Putting all of these together produces fruit that honors God, serves others, and paves the way for an eternity filled with joy.