2 Thessalonians 1

2 Thessalonians 1 is Paul’s second letter to the church and this chapter deals with the way the church was dealing with one another.  Paul and his ministry team were thankful for the example being set, and he calls out the characteristics of the church.  Check these out:

–       “your faith is growing abundantly

–       The love of everyone of you for one another is increasing

–       Steadfastness

–       Faith in all your persecutions

–       Afflictions that you are enduring

–       Evidence of the righteous judgment of God

–       Worthy of the kingdom

 This church was tracking where God intends the church to live.  Faith, love, steadfastness, endurance – they were together and focused on one another.  It wasn’t about programs or activities – it was about life and living it God’s way – together.  How is that going in your life?  Is your faith growing? Abundantly?  My answer was ok til I got to that last part.  How about loving others?  Increasing?  Same issue there – I would say loving others is part of my daily life – but doing it increasingly for each one in my patch?  It is those multiplier kind of words that has my head spinning.  He didn’t just say faith in persecution – but faith in ALL your persecution. 

Being a Christ Follower means we are growing and changing and moving closer to God.  Daily – not just on occasion.  It means we are learning to be like Jesus every step of our walk.  Abundantly, increasing, all – those are the evidence that we truly are God’s children.  Paul writes later in the chapter the things he was praying for in this church.  “That God may make you worthy of His calling…..fulfill every resolve for good…..every work of faith by His power…..so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you”.  There are some more of those words – primarily “every”.  Living as a Christ Follower means that Jesus is in control of the whole enchilada.  Not just parts and pieces when we want Him at the helm, but each and every step of the journey.  Is He in your life?  In every situation?

Paul paints a picture of what happens for “those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”.  It is not a pretty picture.  This is serious stuff and the crux of the gospel.  If we don’t get our relationship with Jesus right – if we fail to accept God’s gift of grace to receive salvation through Him – things are not going to go well.  Paul writes that there will be “flaming fire….inflicting vengeance on those who do not know…..suffer the punishment of eternal destruction…..away from the presence of the Lord”.  This is rather strong and long – if we fail to get right with God through the blood of Jesus – we will be apart from Him for eternity and our future will not be good.  Are you ready to stand before God at the day of judgment?  Have you got things right through Jesus?  You can’t do it then.  The time to make things right is now.  Today may be the day He comes again!

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