We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith… 1Thessalonians 1:3a
Religious activity without faith is a lifeless religion. Paul knows this when he expresses gratitude for Christians in Thessalonica who have a faith that works. He’s thankful for how they are living out their faith, not how much they volunteer to serve.
Sometimes we get confused thinking we get more credit for having a great faith the more good works we do. But Paul writes, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God isn’t interested in the “good works” we do without life change. He’s interested in the roots of our faith going deep to produce godly life change. Change that comes from placing our faith in Jesus, who died in our place to free us from the sin that causes us to do what is wrong, take what isn’t ours, deceive people and live only for ourselves. Living a faith-that-works means instead we choose to do what is right, forgive others, speak kindly and love when it’s not easy. It’s living the way Jesus did, developing his heart and character.
Paul sees new believers in Thessalonica are living lives growing to look like Jesus—and he’s encouraged. We can be encouraged too when we see believers living a faith that works.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
On your 26 DAYS OF GRATITUDE handout (adabible.org/gratitude), write down the name of someone around you who has a working faith that encourages you. Send them a text or email precisely expressing your gratitude for them.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is James 5.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.