1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…
I. THE LABOUR WHICH LOVE INSPIRES. Love is the mightiest motive: the one which never fails. This is needed in all work that is worth doing: much more Christian work. Love regards either the work itself, as in the case of an artist, or the object for which the work is done, i.e., to please a friend or to feed a family. Christian work is animated by the threefold motive: the work is worth doing, God is worth serving, souls are worth saving.
II. THE LABOUR WHICH LOVE DOES.
1. It undergoes any sacrifices. Mark the self-denial of the student, e.g., in his pursuit of learning. Shall the Christian then avoid any discipline that will perfect his character, or is necessary for his equipment for war or service?
2. It succumbs to no fatigue. Of mere task service we soon tire.
3. It spares no energies. When a man begins to pick and choose, it is easy to see that he has no heart in it. Christian love asks not how little can I do and escape condemnation, but how much can I do of this glorious work for this dear Master.
III. THE LABOUR WHICH LOVE PERFECTS. Its work must be worthy of itself. So —
1. It is ingenious in contriving to do the best thing in the best way. What pains are taken about mother's birthday present; and shall we be less solicitous for Christ.
2. It adds beauty to ability so that the gratification may be complete. There is a holy extravagance about love which excites the query, "To what purpose is this waste?"
IV. THE LABOUR WHICH LOVE REWARDS.
1. The labour of love is its own reward: to have produced a book which has edified thousands is a reward to which the most handsome remuneration is out of all proportion. To have brought a soul to Christ is worth more than the wealth of a Rothschild.
2. The smile of the beloved one recompenses the labour of love. Your work is worth so much — which will you have — twice its value or the warm word of appreciation? The Master's glad "well done" is heaven.Lessons:
1. Learn to love what you do either for its own sake or for the sake of some one. This will make "drudgery divine."
2. Let your love grow with your work and your work under your love.
(J. W. Burn.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;