For true Christians who are on their journey towards their perfect home in heaven, there are certain must-haves that they ought to possess so they will reach their ultimate destination.
IN EVERY JOURNEY, there are things that a wise traveler never forgets to bring. IDs and travel documents for credentials, a map for directions, a phone for communication, food, clothing, money, and other survival needs—are among the essentials that one makes sure to have. If one is to embark on an official business trip, he sees to it that he also packs in his bag a laptop, tablet, or other productivity devices to accomplish the work he is required of as he arrives in the place he is to go to.
For true Christians who are on their journey towards their perfect home in heaven, there are also certain must-haves that they ought to possess so they will reach their ultimate destination. These are faith, love, and hope:
“We never forget you when we pray to our God and Father. Your work is produced by your faith. Your service is the result of your love. Your strength to continue comes from your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thess. 1:3 New International Reader’s Version)
Faith, love, and hope are essential for members of the Church Of Christ as these qualities equip them to become fruitful Christians, able to carry out the work and service God expects of them, with the strength of will to continue no matter what the cost. Not only must true Christians have these three qualities; they should also abound in each of them.
Faith that produces work
A paragon of abounding faith is Abraham, God’s servant and “friend” (James 2:23). When God promised to make him a father of a multitude of peoples, Abraham believed it completely. He did not focus on his inability (he was about 100 years old then) and the surrounding unfavorable circumstances (his wife Sarah had been infertile for decades). Nor did he ask skeptical questions and give up. Rather, he plunged into God’s promise, so sure that God would make good on His word (Rom. 4:18-21 The Message). Such a solid faith was what made Abraham obey whatever God commanded him to do. When God told him to go forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance, he went, without knowing or troubling his mind where he was to go (Heb. 11:8 Amplified Bible).
Abraham’s faith produced in him obedience to God. He did what God commanded him to do no matter what. Thus, God fulfilled His promise and blessed him abundantly.
True Christians in these last days must have the same kind of faith and nurture it to accomplish the works God requires of them as His servants for them to see His eternal promises unfold. No matter what the circumstances may be, they must keep on obeying God’s commands, having the “confident assurance” and the “certainty” that what they are hoping and striving for is waiting for them, even though they cannot see it up ahead just yet (Heb. 11:1 Living Bible).
Love that results in active service
Love for God is essential for man to fulfill his inherent duty to worship his Creator. God’s servants who abound in their love for Him are the ones who never forsake the worship service for they always long to worship God inside the temple or house of worship:
“How I love your Temple, LORD Almighty! How I want to be there! I long to be in the LORD’s Temple. With my whole being I sing for joy to the living God. … How happy are those who live in your Temple, always singing praise to you.” (Ps. 84:1-4 Good News Bible)
More than being active worshipers, those whose love for God grows richer day by day foster a pleasant outlook in life. They epitomize love in that they are very patient and kind, never jealous or envious; never boastful or proud; never haughty or selfish or rude; not demanding their own way; not irritable or touchy; not holding grudges; never glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth; and are loyal to God no matter what happens (I Cor. 13:4-7 LB).
Great love is also what makes servants of God happy, pleased, and delighted to share the Good News of salvation to their fellowmen and to care for their brethren’s spiritual welfare (I Thess. 2:8-9 Expanded Bible)—services that are pleasing to God and essential for receiving salvation. Hence, among the things they must earnestly seek and cultivate is love:
“But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all—love].” (I Cor. 12:31 Amplified Bible)
Hope that gives the strength to continue
Hope is likened to “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Heb. 6:19 AMP). An anchor may be small compared to the ship, nevertheless what it does for the ship is so great. It gives the ship stability and keeps it in place even against rolling waves and crashing tides. To have such kind of hope is vital for true Christians to have “mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement” (Heb. 6:18 AMP), which they do need because the sea they are sailing on—this present world—is often ravaged by storms of hardship and despair.
By having a firm hope and abounding in it, members of the Church Of Christ will have the strength to remain in their calling and continue in their journey. They will never give up in the face of any trial or ordeal in their lives. Though their bodies weaken, but their inner strength in the Lord will grow every day. The reason: they do not look at what they can see right now—the troubles around them—rather, they look forward to the joys awaiting them in heaven, which their eyes cannot see yet for now, but will surely come and last forever (II Cor. 4:16-18 LB).
Abound in faith, love, and hope
Faith, love, and hope are essentials that Christians need to have as they traverse this world towards their true home in heaven. By abounding in these and other qualities that God requires of them, they will not be unfruitful in their knowledge of the Lord and in this way, an entrance into His eternal kingdom will be richly provided for them (I Pet. 1:8, 11).