SEPTEMBER 3

Faith, Love, and Hope

Bible Reading: Colossians 1:1-8

Colossians 1:3-5a, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.”

When a baby is born, they do an APGAR test to make sure the baby is healthy and doing all the things a newborn baby should do. Just like that, there are certain “virtues” or “characteristics” one would expect to see in the life of a newborn believer, or in the practice of those who make up a newly born church.  The Apostle Paul was thankful, as he had heard reports about the church in Colossae, these virtues were evident.

These three virtues—faith, hope, and love—are commonly grouped together (Romans 5:2-5; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Galatians 5:5-6).  There is a past (faith), present (love), and future (hope) dimension to them, though they are not bound so.  1 Corinthians 13:13 reminds us the greatest of the three is love, for there will come a day when faith and hope will give way to sight and hope’s fulfillment.

Colossae was a town filled with people who were without God and without hope in the world, as all lost sinners are likewise impoverished.  But then the powerful-to-save-and transform-gospel came to town by way of Epaphras.  People possessing no faith were born again by faith to faith.  People incapable of love were born again through the love of God to love.  People having no hope were born again through a message of hope to hope.  

The message of truth, having been planted in their hearts, came “bearing fruit and increasing” (Colossians 1:6)!  Paul heard the reports of what happened.  Paul, “you should see how those believers in Colossae are now trusting God in the affairs of their lives!”  “We’ve seen Paul, how God has worked a transformation in their lives from sin and selfishness so they are loving one another in their marriages and homes and in the church!”  “Behold how they are now filled up with the hope of heaven!”  The word of God is powerful to save and transform lives–as it did in Colossae, in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 2:13), and in whatever place it has been received!

Warren Wiersbe has commented on this, “When “the word of truth, the gospel” is planted in the heart, it can produce fruit…Near King’s Cross station in London, England, there is a cemetery containing a unique grave, that of the agnostic Lady Ann Grimston. She is buried in a marble tomb, marked by a marble slab. Before she died, she said sarcastically to a friend, “I shall live again as surely as a tree will grow from my body.” An unbeliever, Lady Ann Grimston did not believe that there was life after death. However, a tree did grow from her grave! A tiny seed took root, and as it grew, it cracked the marble and even tore the metal railing out of the ground! There is life and power in a seed, and there is life and power in the Word of God. When God’s Word is planted and cultivated, it produces fruit. Faith, hope, and love are among the firstfruits in the spiritual harvest. These spiritual graces are among the evidence that a person has truly been born again.”

How are you doing regarding these virtues?  Can people see Jesus in you, in the way in which you trust Him, in the way in which you love others, in the way you keep your focus on the hope of heaven?  Pray that the Spirit might work to increase them even more as you grow in God’s grace unto His glory!

SINCE JESUS CAME INTO MY HEART

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Refrain:
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

I shall go there to dwell in that city, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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