I know, it sounds crazy. But that was exactly what I thought early in my faith walk. And then God cleared it all up when I read 1 Thessalonians…
“So, in all our trouble and suffering we have been encouraged about you, friends. It was your faith that encouraged us, because now we really live if you stand firm in your life in union with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 GNT
Timothy’s report that the Thessalonians had not failed under testing but were standing firm in their deep faith and overflowing expression of love convinced Paul that their conversion was genuine.
These two words—faith and love—represent GODLINESS. Saving faith proves its genuine character by works of love. Living by faith is internally motivated by love for God and manifests itself through Christ-like love for others.
This AGAPE LOVE describes unconditional, sacrificial love. It is the same love that is the very essence of GOD and is only made possible by the indwelling and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
The only way the Thessalonians could demonstrate to Timothy a love like Christ—AGAPE LOVE–was by yielding to his Spirit and allowing him to live his life through them. It’s the kind of love that does not depend on the world’s outward-facing and superficial measurements like beauty and money and possessions.
AGAPE LOVE is the highest kind of love that serves with humility and self-sacrifice directed toward others.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
How could you express AGAPE LOVE in your life this week?
I ask God for the Holy Spirit to indwell in my soul and help me express AGAPE LOVE in an unconditional and sacrificial way.