Thank you for what you do?
Paul is very excited about the people of Thessalonica. The message of the risen Jesus Christ entered their hearts. Their lives changed significantly and this was apparent in the way they acted. That is why Paul starts his letter by thanking them profusely: 2Every time we think of you, we thank God for you.
Paul is clearly excited about these people. They must’ve done something right. What Paul has been saying all the time found the right spot in them. The next verse tells us why Paul was so excited: 3Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father.
The verse can be summarized as follows: Our faith in God becomes visible when we live in such a way that the world can see our love. People see our faith when they experience our acts of love. Naturally this means sacrifices, and for that reason we hold onto God alone.
This is a description of the real impact that God has on people’s lives. If our learners had lived word for word what we were trying to teach them, we would probably have been just as excited as Paul, repeatedly telling God about it. Wow, every minister and pastor would be so happy if after the Sunday sermon their congregations would start serving the Lord full speed like this.
Do other people see our faith when they look at us?
I wonder how God feels about our goings-on since He entered our lives. Is there someone close to you that “call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master”? Do people feel God’s love through you? Do people see God’s light shining when you are around? Do people experience change in circumstances because of the sacrifices you make in yours?
Not easy questions these, hey! With no easy answers either!
Well, my friend, why are we sucked into the world to such an extent that we forget to sow God’s love in the world? In some way we’re driven to become even busier, to work even harder and eventually we have no time for God and we make no time for God and the people in whom He wants to make a difference.
If you stop seeing the people you normally see every day, would they miss you?
A boy told me this story about his friend’s dog:
My friend and neighbour was buried today, a man close to God’s heart. He lived for the Lord and to do good. There are few, very few people like him.
After his death, most of all I felt sorry for his dog.
After my friend’s death his little dog also lay there as if dead. Took no notice of anyone and stopped eating. I gave a lot of attention to the Spaniel, but nothing made a difference. The dog mourned more than me, his wife or anybody else. And it was only a dog!
This is a simple story about someone who loved a dog very much. And when this person was no longer there, the dog missed him so much that it wanted to die too.
Maybe you should put an appointment in your diary. Maybe you should set time aside to make your faith work so that other people may be touched by God through you, making them call out again and again: Thank you, God!
How does God feel about what you do?
Do others tell stories about your faith?
How should you live your love today?
The world needs you so very much Father. And I realise I have to show You to the world with my acts of love. Open my eyes and show me and give me strength to live your love so that people can thank you for it. Amen.