Wednesday, September 12, 2012
260 in 2012 DEVOS - Day 183 - 1 Thessalonians 1: Paul Brags on the Thessalonians!
Paul established the church in Thessalonica during his second missionary journey in about 51 AD. He wrote this letter a short time later to encourage the young believers there. He wanted to remind them of his love, encourage them for being faithful while under persecution, and to remind them of their great HOPE – that their Lord & Savior Jesus was returning! In ten short verses, Paul gives these believers remarkable encouragement for their strong faith and good reputation! I don’t know about you, but if I read that someone was telling God thanks for me (vs 2), I’d totally be encouraged! He mentions three things: 1) Their work produced by faith: 2) Their labor prompted by love: 3) Their endurance inspired by hope If actions speak louder than words, then attitudes speak louder still. These believers had attitudes that wreaked of Faith, Hope & Love and as a result, their labor in the Lord was not in vain! Next, Paul mentions how the Gospel was given to them: It wasn’t just Paul’s words, but the Holy Spirit’s and with that came conviction leading to conversion. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t lead, then it can end up being MY words and they only lead to guilt & resentment! Paul’s character was so Christ-like that they imitated him (& the Lord). Finally, look at the continual compliments he gives: - The imitated him & Jesus! - Though suffering, they received the Gospel with joy! - They became role models for believers! - Their faith had become known everywhere! - They were transformed! SO WHAT?! *Would someone ever brag to God about you or me? If they were to thank God, what aspects of our lives would they give thanks for? *How’s your attitude? We can DO the right things and still have a bad attitude about it. Chuck Swindoll has said that “85% of the same stuff in life happens to everyone.” How we respond shows out attitude! Want a good one to follow? Read Philippians 2:3-8! *All of us are models. No, I don’t mean the kind who walk down a runway displaying scanty clothes. I mean that we are being watched by our family, neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc… So………………….what are you & I modeling to them? Like Rafiki told Simba in the Lion King to “remember who you are”, we need to remember that God has called us to be His ambassadors! Let’s model JESUS to everyone and anyone we can!