Labor of love

1 Thessalonians 1:3

A labor of love is work done for the benefit of someone else, not for personal gain. Thus defined, the truest labor of love is Jesus’ atonement for us, taking the penalty of sin on our behalf. The Apostle John focused on the love of God, giving us John 3:16, probably the most well known verse in the Bible.

It seems reasonable, then, to go to the letters of John to see what a labor of love looks like for Jesus followers. Seven things stood out to me:

1. Keep your word (1 John 2:5)
2. Keep your focus upward (1 John 2:15-17)
3. Be bold in your faith (1 John 2:24)
4. Practice righteousness all the time (1 John 3:7-10. 2 John 6)
5. Care for the needy (1 John 3:17)
6. Keep away from idols (1 John 5:21)
7. Provide for teachers, preachers, ministers, and missionaries (3 John 5-8)

Can you imagine if all of us who claim Jesus as Lord practiced these demonstrations of love consistently? These seven things illustrate what a true labor of love looks like in the Church and between the people who call themselves Christians.

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