Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Faith, Love and Hope

The Apostle Paul wrote this to the believers in Ephesus: “Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:15-16).

Two principle things Paul mentioned of these Ephesians are their faith and their love. These qualities led him to be thankful for them and prompted him to include them in his prayers. These great virtues, along with hope, which he also mentioned in verse 18, form the very essence of Christianity.

To the Corinthians, Paul stated, “…these three remain: faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love” (2 Cor. 13:13). Because he was emphasizing the primacy of love, he arranged them in this particular order.

Let’s look at each of these words separately. Faith is appropriately listed first because it is foundational. It is through faith, not reason or works, that individuals experience God. True faith is evidenced by accompanying action. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Love is to be fundamental. Jesus told his followers: “All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:35). If we are not showing love then we are not following the Lord. The third element is hope. Because I know God and am giving and receiving love, I will have Biblical hope which gives endurance during trying and uncertain times.

When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he also touched upon these three virtues, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope” (1 Thess. 1:3). Notice the actions associated with each of these spiritual qualities and check to see if you have them. In these difficult days, we need true spirituality to get by and survive. We get more of each by exercising what faith, love and hope we currently possess.

When he wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul echoed, “We always thank God for you because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thess. 1:3-4)

Notice the mention of trials so long ago and that people of faith are not exempt from such. We should be mindful of individuals around us in need and reach out globally to those who are experiencing unusual losses during this time of unstable markets, governments, environments, etc.

Can it be said that we are “growing” in faith, “increasing” in love, and “persevering” through hope as we live out our days.

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