As we drove past a semi on the highway, my father mentioned that some large trucks have an extra set of wheels. Heavily loaded trailers require additional weight distribution over an increased number of wheels. So, when needed, the retractable set is lowered. When the trailer is empty, however, the additional wheels are raised to improve fuel efficiency and decrease wear and tear on the tires. The wheels are always available, yet their true purpose and value is only revealed when the truck is fully loaded.

Just as additional wheels are essential to pull a loaded truck trailer, so too faith and love are necessary for believers in Jesus to keep moving forward in their walk with God. The early church leaders regularly commended the believers for these two spiritual qualities (Ephesians 1:15; Colossians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:3). They’re often mentioned in relation to what is required to face trials and persecution. Faith and love grew strong and carried the early church through difficult times, spurring them on in their walk with God and in their effectiveness as His “true ministers” (2 Corinthians 6:4-7).

Although Paul, Silas, and Timothy suffered opposition to the good news of Jesus Christ in Thessalonica, there were those who received the message, accepted, and believed it as coming from God (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2:13). The apostles applauded the believers for their “faithful work . . . . loving deeds, and . . . enduring hope . . . because of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3, emphasis added). These actions flowed from genuine faith.

As believers in Jesus, may we grow in faith and love as He works through us to establish His kingdom on earth.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Proverbs 5:1-23