The Labor Of Love

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Feb. 19, 2006, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal
Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church
Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 1 Thess. 1:1-10

Text: 1 Thess. 1:3

1 Thessalonians 1:3 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;

Introduction: The church at Thessalonica was an exemplary church. More than once the apostle Paul said he thanked God for them.

1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

1 Thessalonians 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 

I would like to live in such a way, to be a blessing to people so much that when they prayed they thanked God for me, wouldn’t you?

One of the things for which Paul thanked God, found in our text, was the “labour of love” of the saints at Thessalonica.

The expression occurs twice in the Bible, here and in Heb. 6:10. When used today, it usually refers to a particular task or occupation that a person enjoys and to which he is dedicated. I want to use it this morning to refer to the labor that love produces. That is, love DOES something. Love WORKS. Love PRODUCES. It LABORS.

One of the reasons why we meet at church is to provoke each other to love and good works. I think you are all familiar with the verse:

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

That verse is preceded by:

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

May God provoke us unto love and to good works this morning, as I ask you to consider with me this morning what love does. I’m titling the message:


I want to give you a few things from the Bible that all qualify as a labor of love. I’m sure there are many more, but our time today will be consumed this morning fairly quickly, no doubt, with the consideration of just these few items.


Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Notice that the Hebrew believers SHEWED their “labour of love” toward the Lord’s name in that they ministered to the saints. The works produced by love are evident to others.

     A. Love glows to sinners
        1. John 13:35 By this shall all men
           know that ye are my disciples, if ye
           have love one to another.
        2. Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine
           before men, that they may see your
           good works, and glorify your Father
           which is in heaven.

     B. Love glows to the saints

     C. Love glows to the Savior


2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

     A. In its roots
        1. Our love should be rooted
           in the Lord and in His word

     B. In its reach
        1. Reaching up above the dirt
           and weeds, to be a blessing
           to others

     C. In its reproduction
        1. Bearing seed for more flowers –
           soul-winning (Ps. 126:6)


Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

I want to compare love with glue, in light of the scriptures I just gave, and say that we can learn lessons about love from the fact that love focuses, fastens, and fixes things.

     A. Love, like glue, focuses scattered
        1. Some art is made by putting a
           design on paper or board in
           glue, then dropping small bits
           of glitter, tinsel, or paper
           on it. A beautiful picture is
           made by the glue.

     B. Love, like glue, fastens loose
        1. A fellowship
        2. A marriage
        3. A friendship

     C. Love, like glue, fixes broken
        1. A broken heart
        2. A broken home
        3. A broken fellowship


John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

     A. Sacrificially

     B. Steadfastly

     C. Sincerely





Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor,
Gospel Light Baptist Church 
P.O. Box 3071 (237 Lockett Station Road),
Albany, GA 31706
(229) 432-0039 (church) / (229) 698-2127 (parsonage)
*Scriptures in my notes are from the Authorized Version 1611 -KJV- and are used by permission of the Author – Ephesians. 6:17*
“Lord, Send A Revival!”



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