Week 30 Saturday

Produced by Faith, Prompted by Love, Inspired By Hope

Today’s scripture selection: First Thessalonians 1-3

Key verse: First Thessalonians 1:3

     The apostle Paul was quite a wordsmith.

     Yes, like many authors, he sometimes got a little carried away.  Now and then, it seems to me like he used a hundred words when a half-dozen would have sufficed.

     On the other hand, there are times when he absolutely nailed it.  One example is in his greeting to the believers at Thessalonica.

     He tells them how thankful he is for them and how he prays for them.  And then he says he remembers “before our God and Father”

  • Your work produced by faith
  • Your labor prompted by love and
  • Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wow – that says a ton – doesn’t it?

A simple triune formula for what our life ought to be all about as people of God’s kingdom.  We are to be about work that is produced by faith, prompted by love.  And we endure, even when it is hard, because of our hope in the promises of our Lord.

So often those of us who are “religious” types complicate things too much.  We argue over fine points of theology; we stress over how to accomplish the work of the Church in our time; but boiling it all down to faithful labors of love that endure challenging times – that to me says it well.

Thanks, Paul.  You’ve given us a clear picture of our calling.

Now it’s just a matter of actually doing it.

Prayer: Lord, by the power of your Holy Spirit; strengthen my faith and my work prompted by your love so that I may endure just as Christ did.  AMEN.




By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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