The month of June is the month of “Labor and creativity” at the Embassy of God Church. Today I am going to share how to serve and work to have result not only on earth, but also in Heaven. We should learn to live in such a way that the fruit of our lives would remain forever.
“We give thanks to God for you always, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
This is how Apostle Paul edified the exemplary Thessalonians. In the letter to the church of God in another town – Corinth – Paul mentions these spiritual virtues again: Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Faith, hope, and love are the most valuable virtues in the whole world. Above all they define the essence of man, his significance and weight in the eyes of God and people. These are the virtue that will help us to inherit eternity; that is why we need to value them and be zealous about them! They must be even more important to us than the earthly blessings! We must apply even more efforts to achieve them than we do to achieve material wealth, high positions, good name, faithful friend, becoming honest family men, and other values of this world.
Faith, hope, and love are the highest values that we should work for on earth. Let’s study each of them.
Faith always goes hand in hand with works. Whatever you do, you need to do it with faith; for faith without works is dead. (James 2:26). Faith is a spiritual virtue; therefore, it cannot show on earth without physical, visible works. One can prove their faith only through works. That is why if we don`t support our faith with actions, we probably do not have any faith. Mark 11:22-23: Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God! Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ if he doesn’t doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. If we pray, we do not doubt that God will interfere, but if we do not confirm our faith with actions – our prayer shall not be heard. The reason for many unanswered prayers lies on our inactiveness. The same goes for other directions of our lives.If we create a family, we believe that it will be the happiest and most beautiful one, but still we put the necessary effort into it. Any faith must be supported by works and actions!
Just like you need works to show faith on earth, the same way works have no importance to God if they are not supported by faith. It is impossible to please God without faith. In letter to Romans 14:23, the Lord warns us: “anything that is not done in faith is sin”. Therefore everything we do must be done with firm and unshakable faith. God is not impressed with works, which are done without faith; they don’t count in heaven. Heaven registers and honors only the things we do in faith. When we hand out evangelism flyers, talk about Jesus, give people books or CDs – we believe that people will be saved. Every earthly deed must be supported by faith!
Love is proved by actions, works; and all our actions must be accompanied by love.Love is a beautiful spiritual gift. It never ends. That is why everything we do, we must do with love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: If I speak in the tongues of humans and angels but have no love, I have become a reverberating gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all secrets and every form of knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains but have no love, I am nothing. Even if I give away all that I have and surrender my body so that I may boast but have no love, I get nothing out of it. This Scripture says that if we work without love for the Lord, without love for people, then such work has no point in the eyes of God. Only the things that we do with love for the benefit of other people, society, country matter to Him. There are people, who work hard with no joy or pleasure, instead with murmurs, complaints, and resentment. The Bible says that there is no use in such labor. Heaven registers only the kind of labor that is based upon love to God and people around us. If we see labor as a tedious obligation, do it automatically with no thought of improvement or perfection of what we do, then we lose our reward from the Lord. Ecclesiastes 10:15: The labor of fools wearies him, because he does not know how to go to the city. Any labor that has no love in itself is the labor of fools, which wearies, ruins, and destroys. Such labor brings no satisfaction, only sufferings and pain. Therefore, we should fill every act with love.
Just as there is no faith without works and it is hard to do works without faith, the same way there is no love without labor and labor is meaningless without love. Love is a spiritual virtue, which must be physically manifested. If you really love people, you will labor for their sake with no reserve for yourself. We have seen the example of true, selfless, unprejudiced love through our Savior: For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). God proved His love for us through actions – He sacrificed His only Son to save us. All eloquent declarations of love are hollow sounds if they are not supported by actions and labor.
May the Lord help us always labor with love and always be happy with no regard to the fact whether people have thanked us or not. We must be happy because we have labored for God, and for the sake of people. Let us not look at the reaction of people expecting gratitude or compliments, but manifest the nature of God with conscious satisfaction. Let us start every day with a passionate desire to do something for the Lord and His creation, thus proving our love.
There cannot be hope and trust without patience; and one can be patient only if they are filled with hope. Patience is the best helper of hope. If you hope for something, but you cannot be patient – you may give up when you are just one step away from the victory. The hope for the expected helps to go till your final victory. If someone is patient without hope for better future, it is the same as self-torture, which will never take them to the desirable result. God promised us eternal life, reward in Heaven, He prepared a glorious name, and heavenly dwelling places. This is our hope and trust that give us strength and ability to be patient. Romans 8:18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us. All hardships, pains, persecutions, curses, and rejection that we endure in this world are nothing comparing to the glory God prepared for us in the end of our journey on earth. This is what our hope is about; it helps us go through any sufferings and hard situations with our heads up. It helps us focus on the glory and reward promised to us by God, and not on the temporary worldly troubles. If we cannot be patient here on earth, we are not worthy to receive the glory in heaven.
The one who endures till the end will be saved (Matt. 10:22). Without patience and trust in the Lord, you reject grace and may fall back from God. Every blessing, whether it is on earth, or in Heaven, we receive only through patience. Patience will always reward you. If there is no trust in happy future, it is very hard to show patience. Therefore, let us always live by beautiful and reliable promises of our Lord.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is important to remember that the most important things we need to work on are faith, hope, and love. Faith should always be supported by works, love – by labor, hope – by patience. If you have these three virtues, you will truly be a great person respected not only on this earth, but in eternity. People living by the principle of faith, hope, and love shall be recognized by Heaven and Angels. God Himself will take opinions of such people into consideration; they will have authority not only on earth, but most importantly in Heaven. All circumstances sooner or later will work for good for these people.
For a more thorough study of this topic we recommend you read the following books:
- “Faith for victory” – Sunday Adelaja
- “All-conquering love” – Sunday Adelaja
- “The Kingdom of Love” – Sunday Adelaja
- “It is always profitable to do good” – Sunday Adelaja
May the Lord bless you and your family!
With love and prayers for you
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church