“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,” (Ephesians 1:15-16 ESV)
Paul started the letter with a gospel filled greeting and then a song of praise, a doxology.
“In particular—as the opening For this reason signifies—he prays in the light of the wealth of spiritual blessing of which he has just been writing. The thought of the purpose of God in Christ, the blessings of election, sonship, redemption, revelation, the gift of the Holy Spirit, leads naturally and inevitably to praise and prayer for the members of his church (cf. 3:14).”
The statement “because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints…” stands out to me. Paul, the Apostle of Christ by the will of God, has heard of their faith. Faith and love in action stands out. What a story!
“Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” (Proverbs 20:11 ESV)
What are we known for? Is it our quick temper or our patience? Is it for our love for others or love for ourselves?
For some reason I have an image in my mind of a flower looking in the mirror. How bizarre it would be to see a garden filled with flowers in bloom, basking in the sunlight, and then a flower busy trying to catch her reflection in a mirror. Self-focus alters things.
We might be living lives of faith and wondering if anyone notices. God does. His people do notice. Are we living lives marked by love toward all the saints?
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,” is a strong, comforting statement. Do we constantly give thanks for others? Do we remember them in our prayers?
In Philippians one there is a similar statement of thankfulness and prayer for a group of believers, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Verses 3-5)
Of Ephesians 1:15-16, Foulkes shares that Paul makes two parts of prayer clear: constancy and thanksgiving. “He taught others that praise should be the unfailing accompaniment of intercession (Eph. 5:19–20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:15–17; 1 Thess. 5:18), and this also we see from his letters was a feature of his own praying.” 
Having brothers and sisters in partnership in the gospel is a beautiful gift. There is joy that comes from it! Let’s be people of faith who encourage others to walk by faith, making mention of them in our prayers. Let’s live lives worthy of the calling we have received. If stories must be told about us, may they be of active, loving faith in Christ.
Dear Lord, thank you for the faith of others that is seen through their love. Please cause my faith to be active as well. Enable me to live out this faith You have called me to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
What does a life marked by love toward all the saints look like?
Whose faith have you heard about? How could you encourage that person, or that group of people?