FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:1-8

“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 you have for the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel.” (Colossians 1:3-5)

As he often did, Paul began his epistle by giving thanks to God for the people to whom he was writing. Here in the opening verses of Colossians, we find the triad of godly character — faith, hope and love. Paul had heard about the faith of the Colossians in the Lord Jesus and of their love for the saints. He heard about the hope they had, knowing that God had destined them to glory.

But as we read in these opening verses, we can see where their faith, hope and love came from — it came from the gospel. Remember what Paul wrote about the gospel in Romans 1:16 — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul reminded the Colossians about the power of the gospel — “which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing as it does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth” (v. 6).

The gospel’s power produces growing fruit. Faith, hope and love are some of the fruit the gospel brings to bear upon our lives. The power of the gospel brings faith to us. Faith is a gift of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8,9). The gospel also produces love in us. It gives us the power to love others with the love of Christ. And the gospel leads us to hope — hope in the promises of God.

O Holy Spirit, You bring the gospel into our hearts and minds in a powerful way. Thank you for the gifts of faith, hope and love. May I grow in my faith each day and may I love others with the love of Christ and may I always live in light of the hope of the gospel.

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