Thessalonians 1: 3-10 – “3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
And we left off on verse 4-“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,” Abba Father, thank you for choosing me and adopting me to be a “child of God” and to partake of the inheritance with Christ Jesus!
“because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” Lord, you knew how bad I was and in the midst of it you came to me with your words (The Bible) and with power (life changing power) and the Holy Spirit (which is also described in the Bible as a still small voice) and DEEP conviction – oh how you knew the depths of me and shone a light that I could acknowledge the error of my ways and repent, ask forgiveness, accept Jesus into my life to change me. I am forever grateful; I did not deserve it and you loved me enough to provide this way to bless me.
[Ok, I have to explain what the gospel is to you, the reader, in case you do not know and I’ll make it quick because, literally, I could talk for days about it.
In the beginning God created everything including mankind, and made humans specifically in his image and loved them so much he spent a lot of time with them. After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man was separated from God by sin. God missed his humans and wanted to be close to them again, so he gave some rules (laws) to the Old Testament Hebrews and said do these things and sacrifice an animal, so that its blood can COVER your sins. BUT God loved all of mankind and this only worked for the Jews. So he foretold a savior the come atone for all sins – then God came, in the form of Christ Jesus and made a way, explained God’s love, brought conviction of sin, deliverance from satanic bondage and evil, miracles and healing. Jesus sacrificed himself, by letting them crucify him on the cross, his blood spilled as the blood sacrifice and made a way for humans to be forgiven of their sins. We just need to believe Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and his blood spilled so we could be forgiven – and asks for forgiveness of course. Then pray (communicate with him) and read his word (the Bible) to know what he says. And develop a relationship with him. In short this is the gospel and the essence of God’s grace!]
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord,” Heavenly father, provide me with Godly examples and supports in your church, please.
“for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” When I was yet in the ways of being evil and sinful – while my poor choices and life problems caused me grief and severe suffering – while I struggled to smile – GOD’s love swooped in and made me smile and I welcomed the message. It hasn’t been easy to believe and have faith. Some of the things have stretched me out of my comfort zone (like loving my enemies) and if not for grace I would not have been able to be obedient. Thank you Lord for recognizing me.
“your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,” Someday Lord, let me be known for my faith!
“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” And Lord please let my transformation from sinner to saved by grace, my story and testimony of your goodness be told, that more of the people who you have chosen might be transformed and saved from their sins and strife.
Salvation is the important work produced by faith! Mine!! Yours!!! And our loved ones!!!!
Thank you for reading. I pray:
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16:20 (NIV)