Archive for December 13th, 2017

2 Thessalonians 1

2 Thessalonians 1 has Paul, Silas and Timothy again writing to the church at Thessalonica.  Paul traveled much with these two men and they had been with him on prior visits.  They are encouraged by the progress of the Christ Followers there – “your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing”.  The status update is very positive in two areas: both faith and love are increasing.  But not just a little – their faith was growing abundantly and their love increasing.  Spurgeon explained how to grow a strong faith: “Do all you can, and then do a little more; and when you can do that, then do a little more than you can. Always have something in hand that is greater then your present capacity. Grow up to it, and when you have grown up to it, grow more.”

Paul and his team had plenty of trials as they ministered to the churches.  They were often chased out of town or persecuted, but here they have something to be very excited about.  “We ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring”.  The Thessalonians were poster children for how a Christ Follower should live in faith and love.  But the rest of the story is that they were growing as they were under attack – living among persecution and affliction – they were continuing to grow in steadfastness and faith in the midst of trial and tribulation.  They were enduring, and thiving, not sitting back complaining about their situation and how hard life was.

Paul reminds them that their enemies will pay a price.  “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed”.  There is a day coming when the score will be settled.  The church may suffer in the present, but God is on the throne and there will be a day when judgment is handed out and eternity assignments are made.  As Christ Followers, we have to keep our eyes on the prize of eternal life with the Father.  There may be suffering and challenges in the near term, but God will deal with all those things in His time and His way if we believe!

Paul ends by reminding the church that his team is always praying for them.  “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ”.  Paul’s prayer is that we may live up to the calling of being a Christ Follower and live out that calling through good not on our own power, but through the power of Jesus Christ, not for our own recognition, but that we might bring glory to God and point people to the grace God offers through Jesus.  Life is not about me.  It’s about how God can use me to point the world toward Him and His glory.  We are merely lights that should point people to the Father!

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