Ingredients For Growing a Christian

A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, “Eighteen to nothing and we’re behind.” “Boy,” said the spectator, “I’ll bet you’re discouraged.” “Why should I be … More

Hope

In Paul’s day letters usually started out with the person writing the letter using their own name first and then the name of the person or church to whom he was writing (v. 1). Paul addresses his fellow Christians as brothers and prays that God will be kind to them and bless them with peace (v. 2). He then gives three characteristics of a Christian and what this characteristic produces (v. 3):

  1. Faith produces works
  2. Love produces labor
  3. Hope produces patience

We can see over and over again throughout Paul’s writings how he stresses that faith, love and hope are the basic ingredients for a growing Christian. Faith involves trusting God for what may seem impossible. For the most part we Christians here in America know very little about faith. We have so many material things and are surrounded by so many opportunities that there isn’t much that we can’t achieve on our own. That was not true with New Testament Christians. They had to trust God day by day.

Love is an action word. It can not be measured by feeling as the world would have us believe.  More is said about love in the New Testament than any other word. Hope cannot be based on the things of this world that will soon pass away. Hope indicates security. Many place their hope in our freedom, our jobs, our possessions, our family etc. Our hope must be in Christ and He alone. God has chosen to give us the gospel that comes in power and assurance, through the Holy Spirit, with great power and conviction (vv. 4-5).

Application

My citizenship is in heaven and I am just a stranger passing through this life. Hope in this life brings disappointments but hope in the Lord will bring security.

I Thessalonians 1:1-5 (English Standard Version)

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 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. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »