Scripture:  For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers. (Ephesians 1:15, 16 NET)

Observation: Love to the saints is a natural outcome of faith in Christ. It is impossible to love God without loving the saints (1 John 4:20), and, indeed, those who are not so saintly. The love Paul commends is comprehensive, including all the saints, even those whom it may be difficult to love because of their various habits and temperaments. [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (1002). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application: it’s amazing how many people actually notice you, your behavior, and your relationship with your spouse and family.  When you walk way ahead of your spouse, don’t hold the door open for them, or don’t look them in the eye when they’re talking to you others notice.  When you sit separately in church, don’t hold hands, or speak in unkind or rude words, others notice.  And often the ones that notice that most are those closest to you…your own children.

The apostle Paul commended the members of the church at Ephesus because their faith and their love went together.  In fact, he not only commended them but thanked God for them and their attitude toward one another.  He recognized their faith in action through their loving action toward all the saints.. They were not nice only to some of the saints, maybe those that were nice toward them, or those who we leaders of the church, but to all, the rich and the poor, the leader and the follower.  but most importantly, they were loving toward those saints who were members of their own household.  sometimes we forget that those closest to us are also part of God’s family and therefore they are counted among God’s saints.

Following the example of the Ephesians, then, our faith is not demonstrated in how many miracles we perform, if any, or if we are able to understand and teach complicated Bible passages, or whether we can guide others to a greater knowledge of God, all of which are good, but whether our love for people reflect the faith we have in the God we love and serve.  If Paul were alive and he knew us and the church where we attend on a regular basis, what would he say of us?  If he knew how we relate to those closest to us, the saints that live with us, what would he say of our faith?  I pray his words would be a strong commendation, never a condemnation.

 Father God, help our faith be reflected in our loving actions toward all the saints, particularly the ones within our own household.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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