It’s hard to believe that we are already entering another summer season of ministry. Depending on your occupation and age, the word summer likely holds varying connotations for you. If you are a student, it means vacation! If you are a teacher, it means preparation. If you are a farmer, it means work. For our church family, the beginning of summer is a busy time of preparation for the Spiritual Leadership Conference June 8–11.
But whatever the summer may hold for you, there are three phrases found in 1 Thessalonians 1 that should characterize your service for the Lord this summer:
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;—1 Thessalonians 1:2–3
Work of Faith
Faithful servants of God have ongoing routines in their ministry—perhaps making class visits, writing notes, going out during scheduled soulwinning times, etc. These routines are important and, if empowered by the Holy Spirit, touch lives.
But there is a difference between going soulwinning simply as part of your weekly schedule and going soulwinning in faith. Be sure that your labor for the Lord this summer is indeed a work of faith.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.—Hebrews 11:6
Labor of Love
Satan is always trying to cause us to lose our love while we labor. Even as we can work without faith, we can labor without love. As you labor for the Lord this summer, be sure you are first in love with Him, and be sure you are serving as unto Him.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.—Revelation 2:4
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;—Colossians 3:23
Patience of Hope
Summer itself is a reminder of the blessings of patience. Farmers who plant their seed in the spring don’t expect a harvest the next day. Or the next. Or the next. And yet, all summer, they faithfully tend their crops until the fall harvest comes.
As you serve the Lord this summer, don’t be discouraged when you don’t see immediate fruit. Rather, continue serving—sharing the gospel and investing in the lives of people. Serve with patient hope, and God will reward your labor for Him.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.—Galatians 6:9