“…remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father…“
Believers at Thessalonica had three features. These distinctives enabled them to have the greatest impact of any church in the New Testament and were the source of their spiritual vitality.
remembering without ceasing
The word “remembering” means to call to mind. Paul calls to mind the circumstance for giving thanks. We need to kindle our memory so that we do not neglect prayer. Here Paul and his team remember three outstanding spiritual virtues of the Thessalonians.
The character and convictions of the Thessalonians brought them regularly to the minds of Paul’s team when they went to prayer. The entire chapter is born out of the memory of a dynamic church. This is a church that manifested work, labor, and patience motivated by faith, love, and hope.
True ministry comes from spiritual qualities.
Faith, love, and hope are fruits of the Spirit. It is possible to do God’s work in carnality. To work, labor, and exercise perseverance without God’s power is empty human mechanics.
The church at Ephesus manifested work, labor, and perseverance but still received a rebuke from the Lord.
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent,” (Revelation 2:2-5).
If we operate under the power of the Holy Spirit, we will do God’s work in God’s power. As the root, so the fruit. If we do what we do in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will produce like fruit.