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Sunday, November 28, 2021

To the Angel of the Church in Ephesus


The work of the Christian never ends.

Some people might take issue in connecting work with Christianity. There are a great number of verses that speak of the work of Christ on the cross, the saving grace that Jesus shares with believers, and the loving patience of God that waits for the faithful to come home. While it’s true that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17) and “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith” (Eph. 2:8a), “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thes 1:3). We remember that for Christians, work, labor, and endurance are vital parts of our lives.

Christians have a call to live holy and righteous lives (Mt. 6:33) but what we might not realize is that living righteously means more than just striving to live without sin, it means doing the work of God. In part, we do the work God has set for us by believing (John 6:29).  Life doesn’t stop at believing, at having faith, at trusting in the blood of Christ. Life continues. And we are to continue living out our faith not just by what we don’t do, but by what we are doing.

Timothy was a believer. He was raised in a believing home by a faithful mother and grandmother. They believed and they taught Timothy what to believe and how to trust in God. Timothy trusted God, but his faith didn’t leave him where it found him. Timothy would go on to become a trusted companion of Paul, serving side-by-side with Paul in the preaching of the Gospel and the ministry to many congregations.

Even after all this had taken place, Timothy’s work hadn’t ceased. He continued, and in Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he was charged to continue continuing! After all he had accomplished, there was still work to be done: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Tim. 6:11).

The work of the Christian never ends. Timothy was told, as we are, to PURSUE – that is, to continue, to keep on, to chase after, to strive for, to reach for, to never give up, to never think that the working has reached its completion. How are you pursuing righteousness in your life? Are you pursuing godliness? How does your pursuit of faith and love show itself in how others see you?

As we think on these things, let’s remember to always keep pursuing, knowing the work of the Christian never ends.