In the introduction of his first letter to the church of the Thessalonians, Paul mentions three things he appreciates about those Christians:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thes 1:2-3)
What a powerful set of phrases to think about throughout the day! What a challenge to walk in the same footsteps:
- As I go about my work today, I will do so with faith in Jesus Christ
- As I labor today, I will do so from a heart of love for God and others
- As I experience the ups-and-downs of the day, I will be fueled and sustained by hope
Why? I have turned away from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thes 1:9). I am waiting for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead (1 Thes 1:10). In the meantime, my faith will shape my work. My love will fuel my labor. My hope will keep me stable and steadfast.
Those are defining blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ that we ought to give thanks to God for today.