Although 2022 is an off season election, as my first year in the position of Publisher of the Ridgeview News, I have a little different vantage point to look upon the election antics of those running for office. But this morning as I wrote the early morning news, and I sought out the Lord’s attention in my day, the thought of being an elect in the Kingdom of God was fresh on my mind as I read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-4 KJV
 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.  We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;  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;  Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
I thought about being the Jesus Chick all these many years, and the great joy that writing brings me. I write myself happy all the time! I want my writing to be an encouragement to the reader. Paul, Timotheus and Silvanus, wrote to the church of Thessalonians to encourage them as well. They wanted that community to experience grace and peace that comes from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. I want my community to share in that same experience.
Although there were certainly cultural difference in the day of Paul and the others, their message wasn’t any more accepted than ours by the politics and the religion of the day. But if we read the word of God, and apply it to our lives as Paul suggests we will share in that great experience of knowing our “election of God.”
Not an election to an office, for this epistle isn’t written to the officers of the church only, but to the whole church! Everyone who accepts Christ as Savior. It’s not talking about our calling, which we all have one on our lives to serve God in some manner, but rather it speaks of the eternal choice of a loving God to give us eternal life and happiness. An act made long before any one of us were born, before the world began and is the effect of His pure love and free favor. We’re not “running” for this position as in the days of modern elections. No, we’re in! The ballot box is closed!
But there is a “but”. We’re elected, but we won’t enjoy the perks of that position without the three fold evidence that Paul speaks of the Thessalonians having.
The Work of Faith
Do you have a work of faith? Is there something that you do that you consider your ministry and an evident work for the Kingdom? A preacher and Pastor has a calling, but they have a work of faith as well. I will not speak for my own beloved Pastor Steven as to what he considers his work of faith, but I consider it to be the great peace and wisdom he has brought to our church through the teaching of the word. But other Pastors may have an entirely different work. And I guess it could change daily. But there’s plenty to do for the Kingdom for everyone. And just like we want our elected officials to fulfill the roles they’ve been voted into, God no doubt wants to see something happening with us.
The Labor of Love
Is there a difference between labor and work? Perhaps work is the product of the effort and labor is the attitude commitment put into it. I’m not really sure, but obviously there is a difference. Do you love serving God? I’ve seen people that didn’t appear to and I’ve seen people that the joy oozed out of them. And then I’ve seen plenty of people in between, probably the vast majority just going through the motions of what must be done and never reall enjoying it. I pray when I serve that people understand that I am enjoying the work of the Lord! I’ve done some of the same “labors” for 25 years. And I still enjoy it. I don’t see it as a chore but as an opportunity to be creative for God. That is a true labor of love!
The Patience of Hope
Do you have it? Are you patiently waiting on the Hope that is Christ Jesus? We need this patience and we need to share this patience in this world where hope is all but gone in the faces of most of the people we meet. I see such a need for it in the frustrate moms and dads, and more so in the grandparents who are so worried about the world our children are being raised in. It’s fleeting in the face of an addict without a supportive network of people. A family on their last paycheck before unemployment runs out needs to know that Jesus knows, and they never will unless we show them. Some days my hope is fleeting and I need encouragement, praise God for His Word and His people.
I pray I’ve encouraged you today to think on these things. What is your work of faith? What is your labor of love and what is your patience of hope? Share Jesus and watch all three come to life and the joy that comes from it!